Peanut Gallery: What will it take for you to show courage? And how will you show it? You might start with prayer….

MARILYN R. GARDNER

Warning: This is a rant

Malala Yousafzai is 14. She lives in the Swat Valley of Pakistan, a place where our family spent many lovely vacations. And while Swat is lovely for vacationers, it’s not an easy place to live by any standard.

Malala is not your typical 14-year-old. At age 11 she was writing a blog diary for the BBC under a pseudonym and two years later she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize for her work promoting the right for girls in Pakistan to get an education.

And yesterday she was shot — shot in the head and the neck and is now fighting for life at a hospital in Peshawar. The Taliban proudly claimed the shooting; she has been on a hit list for over a year for her work promoting education and rights for girls. They saw her as a threat, a threat to…

View original post 305 more words

Please Pray for Religious Freedom Around the Globe

Peanut Gallery: Please pray for religious freedom around the globe. As the following study indicates, religious freedom is on the decline world-wide… and even here in America. And Christians who take the Great Commission seriously do so at great risk to themselves and their families.

The Great Commission:

Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28.18-20 NLT

Please ask the Holy Spirit to place a particular country or “people group” for which to pray. The following graphs show countries that are identified as very highly restrictive. Do a little research using Wikipedia or Open Doors Country Profiles for background information and Google news updates daily. Then, decide how long you would like to pray for a specific country or people group. Let the Holy Spirit guide you… particularly when you don’t know how to pray.

Please pray for spiritual and physical protection, courage, wisdom, unity among believers, and that the fruit of the spirit be made manifest in the heart and life of every believer… to the glory of God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special thanks to One Tenth Blog for bringing the following Pew Forum study to our attention. Please check out the One Tenth Blog here.

Rising Tide of Restrictions on Religion (The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life)

The Pew Study is extensive with graphs and charts illustrating the growing restrictions to Religious freedom. It is well worth the read… but it is also overwhelming – 75% of the world’s population live under high or very high restrictions. These restrictions are enforced directly by government regulations and indirectly by religious groups within countries.
_______________________

A rising tide of restrictions on religion spread across the world between mid-2009 and mid-2010, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forumrestrict3-1 on Religion & Public Life. Restrictions on religion rose in each of the five major regions of the world – including in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions where overall restrictions previously had been declining.

The share of countries with high or very high restrictions on religious beliefs and practices rose from 31% in the year ending in mid-2009 to 37% in the year ending in mid-2010. Because some of the most restrictive countries are very populous, three-quarters of the world’s approximately 7 billion people live in countries with high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion, up from 70% a year earlier.

Restrictions on religion rose not only in countries that began the year with high or very high restrictions or hostilities, such as Indonesia and Nigeria, but also in many countries that began with low or moderate restrictions or hostilities, such as Switzerland and the United States. (See sidebar on the U.S..)

______________________________________

Peanut Gallery: The following links will help you neavigate the Pew Study.

SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
Navigate this page:

 

Morning Reading: John 19.38-42 NLT

“Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take down Jesus’ body. When Pilate gave permission, Joseph came and took the body away. With him came Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night. He brought about seventy-five pounds of perfumed ointment made from myrrh and aloes. Following Jewish burial custom, they wrapped Jesus’ body with the spices in long sheets of linen cloth. The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. And so, because it was the day of preparation for the Jewish Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.”
John 19.38-42 NLT