SC’s remark on government aid to Kandhamal churches

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

kandhamal churches devastatedNew Delhi, July 16, 2014: The Supreme Court today ruled that churches damaged during the Kandhamal riots in December 2007 were not entitled to any compensation as they get sufficient funds from foreign countries.

“You know Mr Gonzalves, most of the churches get funds from foreign governments. So it is not proper for you to ask for chairs in the church or church bells,” Justice H.L. Dattu, heading a three-judge bench, told Colin Gonzalves, who appeared for the riot victims.

Gonzalves had appealed that not only victims but many churches damaged during the riots were not awarded compensation.

The senior counsel argued that as the churches were damaged by rioters, the state, Odisha, should compensate.

On this, the bench said: “Those cases, we will ask you to go to civil courts. In cases of death, we will take care of the compensation.”

The bench also dismissed the counsel’s appeal that the families of those who died of diarrhoea, cholera and snakebites in relief camps should be given compensation.

“Please don’t make such pleas. You can’t ask anything. You can ask for the moon, not the sun. You have to be reasonable. The state of Odisha is also not that prosperous…,” Justice Dattu said, before adjourning the matter till July 23.

- the telegraph

Church vandalized in Uttar Pradesh

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Church vandalizedBulandshahr, July 18, 2014: Two people, reportedly members of Bajrang Dal, were arrested accused of vandalizing a church in Sehkari Nagar village in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh.

Bajarang Dal area coordinator Hemant Singh and another person have been arrested following a complaint filed by parish priest Father RC Paul, PTI reported.

The incident happened on Monday afternoon, according to Senior Superintendent of Police Akhilesh Kumar.

Scores of Bajrang Dal activists staged a protest outside the residence of the SSP here late last night demanding release of those arrested in the case.

Kumar said an FIR was lodged on the complaint of the priest of the church. “Hemant Singh and one other person were arrested. Eight unknown persons too have been named in the FIR,” he said.

The church at Sehkari Nagar village has been in existence since 1991.

Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh is about 90 km from Delhi.

Meanwhile, Hemant Singh alleged that that church was luring poor Hindus to convert to Christianity.

- ucan

Graham’s Grandson: Why has America soured toward Evangelicals?

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-lead

EvangelicalAmerica, July 18, 2014: The negative view held by Non-Evangelicals about Evangelicals, as reflected in a recent poll, is because believers have lost sight of the Gospel’s core message, said Billy Graham’s grandson and Florida pastor Tullian Tchividjian.

“The core message of the Christian faith has been lost in the public sector because what we are primarily known for is our political ideology or opinion,” Tchividjian told The Christian Post.

Over the last 30 years, the Religious Right has replaced Christianity’s foremost message of the Gospel with that of a political movement, argued the current pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.

“We’re well known for saying things, ‘We exist to reclaim America for Jesus,’ and stuff like that and in the process what has been lost, is the message which I trumpet in [my book] One Way Love, which is God’s inexhaustible grace for exhausted sinners like you and me,” said Tchividjian.

Tchividjian’s claims came in response to a new Pew Research study poll which suggests that only 30 percent of non-Evangelical Americans feel warmly about this religious group. The survey, which measures the country’s religious groups’ feelings towards one another, also showed that 42 percent of non-Evangelical Americans gave responses in the “middle” towards this group, while the sentiments of 27 percent could be described as cold.

“Specifically the reason why Evangelicals in America are unliked by non-Evangelicals is because we’ve branded ourselves as a political movement. It’s not like Christians don’t have opinions about what’s going in our world and what’s happening in our culture; I think that we do, I do, we all do, but when the primary message that the world hears from us is, “We need to fix the world…We need to stamp out all of the bad stuff,” they don’t hear the message that Jesus has entrusted in us,” continued Tchividjian.

What is the message Tchividjian believes that Evangelicals ought to be sharing?

“In Luke 4, Jesus about says himself, “I have come to set the captives free. I’ve come to liberate the oppressed. I have come to save broken people,” said Tchividjian.

For Christians who claimed that their negative image was a consequence of them speaking an unpopular truth, Tchividjian cautioned against automatically arriving at this conclusion.

“If people are going to stumble over what we say, it’s going to be because we’re called to speak the Gospel which Paul says is a stumbling block. But I can’t go out there and be a jerk and align myself with a political party or a candidate and get crucified on either the right or the left and just say “I’m just a martyr for the truth.” No, you’re not even speaking the truth that God has called you to speak first and foremost.”

Tchividjian also noted that it was problematic that not all Evangelicals felt positively towards those who did not share their faith. Pew’s study revealed that while white Evangelicals rated one another on average an 82 (with zero the coldest and 100 the highest,) only Jews and Catholics received a score over 60. Buddhists were scored a 39, Hindus a 38, Atheists a 25, and Muslims a 30.

“Where there is a lack of love for others on the other side of the aisle, there in that moment we are not accurately representing the Christian faith,” said Tchividjian.

Tchividjian suggested that Evangelicals wishing to positively respond to the negative feedback of the survey might emulate his grandfather.

“He has told me that the biggest mistakes he made early on his ministry, in the ’50s and early ’60s, was speaking too much about cultural and political issues at his evangelistic crusades. He says that’s one of his big regrets from his early years in ministry,” said Tchividjian.

The turning point for Graham came after the Watergate scandal, noted Tchividjian.

“He had sort of had, an a-hah moment when he realized ‘I have particular calling as an evangelist and that is to preach the Gospel to human beings, regardless of whether they’re red, yellow, black, white, rich, poor, Democrat, Republican, gay, straight, didn’t matter. My job is to preach the Gospel to humans.’”

After his realization, Graham “stopped endorsing particular candidates publicly because he knew the moment he endorsed the candidate of one particular party that the people on the other side of the aisle wouldn’t listen to what he had to say. He wanted very much to be a bridge builder and the way he did that was to stay above the fray and sticking to his calling.”

- cp

Christians pay the price when West mis-steps in Mid-East

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-asia

IraqIraq, July 18, 2014: At the end of June I was asked to speak in Washington, DC at a Coptic Solidarity conference. I receive similar invitations quite often these days, because while I am a dreadfully inadequate spokesman for their cause, I do speak of the suffering of Arab Christians whenever I can. Islam’s war on Christianity, in fact, is the subject of my forthcoming book. It’s a complex issue, but in brief we can say that the core of the problem is that numerous Koranic verses call for Christians to be treated as, at best, second-class citizens, and sometimes to be treated as direct enemies and threats to Islam. As such, the more authentically Muslim the state, the worse it is for Christians.

Which brings us to what has happened in Iraq, which will be seen by future historians as one of the great tragedies of ethnic cleansing, and should be of lasting importance to the rest of us who follow Christ. The point about Saddam Hussein and his government was that it wasn’t especially religious, it was Arab nationalist and secular, and it saw Islamic fundamentalism as its greatest enemy.

Saddam himself was a monstrous figure and his government was oppressive and offensive, but Iraq was the most literate, stable, and—if you like—civilized country in the Arab world. Saddam could and should have been removed relatively easily, but instead the Americans and their friends devastated the entire country, eliminated the governing class, caused chaos, and opened the door to the very Islamic fundamentalists that Saddam had kept down and who detest Christ, Christians, and Christianity.

Like it or not, the venomous persecution and subsequent hemorrhage of Christians from Iraq is a direct consequence of American and western foreign policy, initiated by the first President Bush and completed by his son. Iraq’s instability and chaos led directly to the Syrian uprising, which, while in its inchoate stages, was genuinely democratic but soon fell under the leadership and dominance of Islamists who want a Syria, and an entire Middle East, free of Christians.

President Obama is no better than his Republican predecessors, of course, and he has flirted and is still flirting with the idea of actually supporting the Muslim fanatics who would slaughter any Christians they encounter. Bush tried to be a friend to Christians but failed miserably, Obama has no interest at all in being friendly to Christians in the first place.

The result of all this is that around 80 percent of the Christians of Iraq and Syria have been forced to flee their homeland, and the numbers are likely to increase. Some have gone to Jordan, but there is no guarantee that the Hashemite royal family will remain in power. Others flee to North America and Europe. Some of them even ran away to Iran—a repugnant regime that persecutes Christians but is still not as dangerous as modern Iraq. The result is that the towns, cities, and villages where the founders of Christendom lived and prayed are or will be entirely Muslim. Forgive me if this sounds harsh, but that’s quite a battle honor for the US military.

It makes me genuinely angry that so many conservative Evangelicals and right-wing Catholics in the United States and even in my homeland of Canada were so eager to fight a war in Iraq. Their naive bellicosity caused so much irreparable harm and has led to so much pain for Christians who have held on to their faith through more than a thousand years of struggle and persecution. I am genuinely ashamed when I meet with my Christian brothers from the region, and it humbles me that they are so forgiving of us in the west.

I don’t know why the war in Iraq was fought, but I’m sure I will be inundated with theories and conspiracies about oil, Israel, freemasons, and the like. I don’t really care about that, but I do care that the grace-filled stream of continuity from the early Christians is now coming to a halt, now drying up in the sand and dust of Iraq and Syria.

- catholic world report

Study: Facebook users are more likely to divorce

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-world

facebook marriageBoston, July 18, 2014: Social media websites in general and Facebook in particular may be linked to an increased likelihood of divorce, claims a recently released study.

“Results show that using social networking sites negatively correlated with marriage quality and happiness, and positively correlated with experiencing a troubled relationship and thinking about divorce.”

Published in the July 2014 edition of Computers in Human Behavior, researchers from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile’s School of Communications and Boston University’s College of Communication have claimed a link between Facebook and divorce.

According to the study, a 20 percent annual increase in the share of the population of a state with a Facebook account correlated with a 2.18 percent increase in the rate of divorce.

“This study explores the relationship between using social networks sites, marriage satisfaction and divorce rates using survey data of married individuals and state-level data from the United States,” reads the study’s abstract.

Researchers cited multiple factors for how social media usage and divorce may be linked; they also recognized as a potential limitation the reliance of the study on self-reporting.

“If the preliminary findings in this study are sustained, it would represent an important step forward in the study of SNS and human behavior,”noted the study’s conclusion. “It would also raise profound questions about the role of social media in daily lives. Finally, it would spur new lines of research in understanding the role of Facebook in divorce and marital satisfaction, prompting a host of policy-oriented research endeavors by social scientists.”

Quentin Fottrell of MarketWatch noted that previous research has found similar results, writing in an article that has ironically enough as of Friday morning garnered over 840 likes on Facebook.

“Previous studies also support the conclusion that there’s a connection between social networking and marital problems,” wrote Fottrell.

“Adjusting for other variables, 32 percent of heavy social-media users say they’ve thought seriously about leaving their spouses, compared with 16 percent of people who don’t use social networks, according to a 2011 University of Texas at Austin survey of 1,600 married 18- to 39-year-olds.”

Both the researchers and Fottrell stressed that correlation does not imply causation and other factors might be more at fault than social media.

“It’s hard to know what comes first: Divorce or obsessing about the lives of others on Facebook. One thing is certain: Facebook is useful after a marriage breaks down,” wrote Fottrell.

He also explained that, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, “Over 80 percent of divorce attorneys have seen a rise in cases using social networking.”

This is not the first study to link social media to antisocial behaviors. In 2013, a survey by the corporate training firm VitalSmarts found a link between social media and rising incivility.

In a sample space of 2,698 individuals, Vitalsmarts found that 19 percent of respondents decreased their offline contactwith a person because of something that individual said on social media; 35 percent reported unsubscribing, “un-friending,” or blocking someone due to an argument on a social networking website.

Joseph Grenny, co-chairman of VitalSmarts, told The Christian Post last year that the findings showed that there is a need “for manners to catch up with technology.”

“That won’t happen until we start expressing social disapproval instantaneously when people behave inappropriately. First, we need to start talking about the issue, which is, in part, why we did this study,” said Grenny.

“Second, people need to begin self-appointing themselves as monitors or line judges, to call foul when they witness bad behavior online. If this starts to occur consistently, manners will catch up with technology, and we’ll find that social media is actually a wonderful glue rather than divisive tool.”

- christian post

Missionaries of Charity nuns continue works in Gaza

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-india

Missionaries of CharityIndia, July 22, 2014: A group of five nuns from the Missionaries of Charity silently continue their work for the poor in war-torn Gaza amid Israeli troops starting a ground offensive.

The nuns live in the Latin Convent in Zeiturn, Gaza City and their Superior Sister Belfina told Sunday Express that they are “not going anywhere” war or no war.

They have over 24 differently-abled children and 15 aged women to take care.

“Everything is fine… We are all safe. We often hear the bombings in the distance. It happens more frequently at night, but not so much during the day. The Israelis are bombing Hamas bases on the borders. But our Latin Convent is right in the middle of Gaza City, so we have not been hit by the war yet,” she said in a soft, calm voice.

“We have taken the Fourth Vow — of giving wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor, no matter what the circumstances. We are privileged to serve in Gaza, which is one of the poorest places in the Middle East. As for the raids, we have got used to the sound of the bombs exploding. We have learnt to live with it,” she says.

One of them Sister Liliet is from Orissa. She said she has been serving in the Middle East for a long time and came to Gaza a year ago.

“The Indian office in Ramallah has been calling often, sometimes four times a day, to check on me. It offered to arrange for my passport and papers so that I can return to India… But I don’t want to go back,” she says.

“The bombings have caused a lot of damage… the borders are closed. People’s houses are being destroyed, especially in villages like Beit Lahiya and Khan Younis on the border.

Most of the children in our convent are from these villages. Their parents leave them here so that they are safe and are fed properly. Others who lose their homes in the air raids take shelter in UN schools which provide food,” says Sister Liliet.

- financial express

Amazingly true quotes

July 22, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

Tears will not come when you miss a person,
it comes when you don’t want to miss a person….just feel it!!!

tears

The heart feels light when someone is in it,
but it feels very heavy when someone leaves it.

heart

A heart dies when it is not able to share its feelings,
but a heart kills itself when another heart doesn’t understands its feelings….

Rude Heart

Loving someone doesn’t need a reason,
If u can explain why you love someone it’s called ‘like’.
If you can’t explain it’s simply called ‘LOVE’.

Love

It’s very easy to say you are ‘busy’ when someone needs you but,
its very difficult to hear ‘busy’ when you need someone…

Busy

Not all fingers are same in length, but when they bend all stand equal….
(Life become easy when we bend and adjust to all situations)…

bending fingers

If silence is meant to be the best for all situations…
then why do we all get so hurt when people don’t talk to us??

Not Talking to Us

One of the very true greatest illusions of life is that:
“We always believe there is more time in tomorrow than today”

Today

- fwd: valliamannill mathews

Squeeze the most out of your day

July 19, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-miscellaneous

Ivy LeeAbout one hundred years ago, a man named Ivy Lee went to the president of Bethlehem Steel, Charles Schwab, and made a deal with him. Lee told Schwab he could increase Schwab’s productivity as well as the workload of all his managers. What’s more, Lee told Schwab he could help Schwab’s executives produce a significant amount more if he could just spend fifteen minutes with each of them.

To make the offer especially enticing, Lee told Schwab he wouldn’t charge anything at all unless his advice worked. “Then, after three months,” Lee told Schwab, “if my advice proves profitable, send me a check for whatever you think it’s worth.”

They struck a deal.

Here’s how productive he was—Lee actually spent only ten minutes with each executive. Here’s what he told them: “I want you to promise that for the next ninety days, before leaving your office at the end of each day, you’ll make a list of the six most important things you have to do the next day and number them in their order of importance.”

The executives were shocked that that was all they were asked to do.

“That’s it,” Lee said. “Scratch off each item after you finish it. Then go on to the next item on your list. If something doesn’t get done, put it on the following day’s list.”

To DoEach Bethlehem executive agreed to follow Lee’s instructions. Three months later, Schwab studied the results. He was so pleased, he sent Lee a check for $35,000! (That may or may not seem like a lot of money to you, but this was one hundred years ago.

At the time, the average United States worker made $2.00 a day or $4,000 a year. Thirty-five thousand dollars was a LOT of money! Even today, imagine if you spent a few minutes with a group of executives and gave each one the same, simple tip and got $35,000 for it. You’d be thrilled!)

Many people follow Lee’s advice today. The founder of the $2.2 billion direct sales cosmetics company Mary Kay praised Lee’s idea when she wrote the book You Can Have It All: Lifetime Wisdom from America’s Foremost Woman Entrepreneur. Mary Kay Ash boasted that she herself followed Lee’s advice. After all, she reasoned, Schwab was one of the smartest business professionals of his day. If he felt that bit of advice was worth paying $35,000, she ought to try it, too.

Mary KaySo, each night she made a list of things to do the following day. But, she added a twist to it. She didn’t just number the tasks in order of importance. She always put the hardest or most unappealing task at the top. “This way,” she wrote, “I tackle the most difficult item first, and once it’s out of the way, I feel my day is off to a good start.”

Follow Lee’s advice! Before you go to sleep tonight, figure out what you need to do tomorrow. Write down the six most important things you need to accomplish. Not only will you start tomorrow ready to go, but subconsciously, you’ll also be working on those six projects while you sleep. Then, follow Mary Kay’s advice and knock those tasks out from hardest to easiest.

Don’t let your time get snuffed out by what appears to be an innocent killer! Stand guard. When you guard your time, you guard your life. For time is the stuff that life is made of.

- simple truths

Barnabas briefs: Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh & Burundi

July 19, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-world

Iraq: Kidnapped nuns and orphans freed; Christians denied food rations

Iraq NunsTwo nuns and three orphans who were kidnapped in Mosul last month have been released.

Miskintah and Utoor Joseph, along with Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba and Aram Sabah, were freed on Monday (14 July), having been captured on 28 June.

It is thought their kidnappers were linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIS (who now wish to be called the Islamic State); the militants seized control of Mosul on 10 June. The five were held at a house in the city and were said to have been treated well. They are in good health and are now in Dohuk in the Kurdish north. No ransom was paid for their release.

Miskintah and Utoor ran an orphanage in Mosul. When the city was taken over by ISIS, the nuns took the orphans to Dohuk for their safety but returned with Hala, Sarah and Aram on 28 June to check on the centre.

Christians in Mosul and the surrounding area under ISIS control remain extremely vulnerable. The Sunni militants have ordered government workers to stop giving food rations to Christians and Shias in Mosul. Officials in charge of distribution have said that they were warned that if they did, they would be prosecuted according to sharia law.

Sudan: Ten Christians killed, three churches flattened in government bombings

At least ten Christians have been killed and three churches destroyed over the last two months as Sudanese government forces continue their relentless bombing of the Nuba Mountains.

Three teenagers, Abdo al Nour, Abdel Rahman Hassan, Yasin Salah, and another minor Ado al Sawaq, and an 80-year-old woman, Amira Ballula, were among the victims, along with Kimmia Calals (30), whose nursing child has been left motherless.

Two Sudanese Church of Christ buildings in Um Dorain and one in Um Serdiba were flattened in aerial bombardments.

President Omar al-Bashir’s forces have been targeting the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan state, which has one of the largest Christian populations in Sudan, since June 2011. The Islamic regime is trying to “cleanse” the region of non-Arabs and non-Muslims.

Source: Morning Star News

Bangladesh: Female church workers attacked in violent robbery

bangladeshA church in Boldipukur was raided by around 50 robbers, who rounded up and attacked workers inside and seized valuable items.

The Muslim assailants bound and gagged two watchmen before plundering the building. They beat and attempted to rape female church workers, who were left greatly distressed by the incident.

The robbers were apparently trying to find and steal land deeds for the site. A previous attempt had been made, in 2010, to seize the land by force; 50 people were injured in an attack.

Police have arrested 12 Muslims in connection with the robbery, which took place on 6 July.

Burundi: Draft law requires churches to have 500 members and a building

BurundiDraft legislation intended to curb Burundi’s “proliferation of churches” has been passed by the lower house of parliament.

The bill requires churches to have at least 500 members and a proper building; a foreign church would need 1,000 adherents in order to register.

Burundi is predominantly Christian, and it is common for worshippers to gather in makeshift tents for Sunday services. A government survey last year found that there were 557 denominations practising in the country.

The bill will next go to the Senate and is not expected to face much opposition. If it is signed into law, churches would have a year to comply with the new rules.

- barnabas team

Nuns attacked at convent in northern Bangladesh

July 19, 2014 by admin  
Filed under newsletter-asia

Bangladesh Convent Rocked by Attack on NunsBangladesh, July 16, 2014: Last week dozens of armed men broke into a convent in northern Bangladesh, beating a group of nuns at a small mission.

“The attack was massive and lasted about an hour and a half. The attackers brutally beat the nuns … the convent was seriously devastated,” Bishop Sebastian Tudu of Dinajpur told the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, of the attack which took place at the Boldi Pukur mission in the early hours of July 7.

“Only when the police arrived did the attackers leave the mission,” he reported.

The Boldi Pukur mission is located nearly 50 miles east of Dinajpur; its rectory, convent, and hospital were all objects of the attack carried out by between 50 and 60 men.

While Christians have before been attacked in the Muslim-majority nation, this is the first time that nuns have been targeted in particular.

“It’s unprecedented because nuns are highly respected in Bangladesh,” Bishop Tudu said.

The nuns are now in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, for medical treatment, the bishop said. He added that the rectory’s door was broken down, and the mission’s pastor was robbed and threatened.

“The attack is obviously a targeted and planned attempt at intimidation. Nuns and priests are being attacked because they stand up for the disadvantaged and minorities,” stated Bishop Tudu.

- cna

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