Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Some Holocaust Survivors Go Hungry during Remembrance
- Freed Female Converts to Face Iranian Judge Again
- Kyrgyz Christians Weigh Freedom under New Government
- Evangelical Lobbyist Praises Nuclear Reduction Pact
Some Holocaust Survivors Go Hungry during Remembrance
According to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, many Holocaust survivors went hungry on a day dedicated to their remembering their ordeals. Israel and other countries worldwide commemorated Holocaust Remembrance yesterday, April 11. For many in the aging demographic, deteriorating health has led to piles of medical bills. In the case of Moshe, a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor, he relies on a Fellowship-funded soup kitchen in Jerusalem for his only meal of the day. Moshe and his wife's only income is a tiny government stipend. After bills, there is little left for the medicine Moshe needs for his heart. The two live in fear of starving to death. An estimated six million Jews were murdered in extermination camps, pogroms and random violence under Nazi rule.
Freed Female Converts to Face Iranian Judge Again
The Christian Post reports that two Iranian women jailed for their faith will face a judge tomorrow despite their release in November. Maryam Rostampour, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, spent 259 days in squalid conditions and suffered harsh treatment at Iran's Evin Prison. The women are reportedly still frail from their ordeal. However, both women refused to recant their Christian faith. They are "determined to be faithful to the Lord and speak the truth in court whatever the consequence of personal cost," Elam Ministries said. The two were arrested on charges of anti-state activity and "taking part in illegal gatherings" for their participation in a house church. "Maryam and Marzieh have greatly inspired us all," said Sam Yeghnazar, director of Elam Ministries, in an earlier statement. "Their love for the Lord Jesus and their faithfulness to God has been an amazing testimony."
Kyrgyz Christians Weigh Freedom under New Government
Mission News Network reports that Christians in Kyrgyzstan are waiting to see if their religious freedom will be greater under the country's new government. Violence from Wednesday's coup has killed at least 100 people and left hundreds more wounded, prompting further unrest and looting. "We really hope that this uprising will lead to more freedom for people there, more freedom for evangelical church ministry [and] for Christianity overall," said Sergey Rakhuba, vice president of Russian Ministries. But the dangers have disrupted the ministries' School without Walls and other programs. "We have quite a few people on the ground there with this new initiative to train new young Christian leaders. Everything is on hold right now, but we are talking to our people [about] how we can reach out to those who have been affected."
Evangelical Lobbyist Praises Nuclear Reduction Pact
Religion News Service reports that the former National Association of Evangelical lobbyist Richard Cizik joined a high-profile panel April 8 to praise the new U.S.-Russia nuclear pact. The panel also pushed for further reductions in nuclear arms. Speaking at the National Press Club on the day President Obama's signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia, the advocates explained how they intend to supplement the administration's mission. Despite their varying backgrounds, the speakers uniformly supported the same movement, Global Zero, established in 2008 to combat the growing global nuclear threat. "I was a conservative," said Cizik, who resigned from the NAE in 2008 after saying that he could support civil unions for gay couples. "I changed. I now view these weapons with a reality and a fear that is rightly in place."