Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- South Korean Envoy to Meet Taliban Kidnappers
- Korean Church Body Appeals for Urgent Prayers for Christian Hostages
- Midwest Christians Called to Prayer and Service after Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
- Florida Judge Dismisses Charges against Gideons
South Korean Envoy to Meet Taliban Kidnappers
FOXNews.com reports that South Korean and Afghan officials were searching for a place to meet Thursday after agreeing to talk in person with Taliban representatives to seek the release of the remaining 21 South Korean captives. Meanwhile, eight South Korean lawmakers departed for Washington to urge the U.S. to help negotiate the release of the hostages. Until now, South Korean diplomatic efforts have failed to bend Afghanistan's refusal to respond to Taliban demands. The Taliban captors have agreed to meet with South Korea's ambassador but have not found a suitable place, said Waheedullah Mujadidi, head of a delegation negotiating with the Taliban. A purported Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, denied the South Koreans had requested direct talks with the militants. But he said the militants would be willing to hold such a meeting in Taliban-controlled territory.
Korean Church Body Appeals for Urgent Prayers for Christian Hostages
The Christian Post reports the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK) has issued an urgent prayer appeal to the global Christian community for the remaining 21 Korean hostages held by Taliban militants in Afghanistan. “The threat of further executions of the hostages is driving not only the affected families but the whole Korean society into the most painful situation,” stated a letter by PROK general secretary Yoon Kil-soo. “Therefore, we urgently call on the entire ecumenical community around the world to pray to God that the killings of innocent people may stop and that these hostages may safely return to their families,” urged Yoon. The remaining 21 hostages, mainly women, are heading into their 17th day of captivity.
Midwest Christians Called to Prayer and Service after Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
According to ASSIST News Service, as the list of those injured or killed continues to rise in Minneapolis, workers and rescue crews are clearing debris and looking for those injured or killed in the bridge disaster. Ministry leaders are calling Christians together to pray and to help those affected by the accident. Steve Loopstra, executive director of the Minneapolis-based Prayer Transformation Ministries said, "Although details are yet to come in, we are asking you to pray earnestly for this immediate need in our city," Loopstra asked believers in the area to pray for fire and rescue to be able to reach those in need. He said: "Pray for the injured as they await rescue; to pray for protection for those involved in trying to rescue people in difficult circumstances, including debris and heat; to pray for the families of those who have been caught in this collapse; and to pray for the Lord's peace for those involved, especially the injured people needing medical attention."
Florida Judge Dismisses Charges against Gideons
OneNewsNow.com reports that charges have been dropped against two individuals after they were accused of trespassing on a sidewalk outside of a Florida public school. The two men had been handing out Bibles. On January 19, police arrested Ernest Simpson and Anthony Mirto for trespassing after the principal of Key Largo School called police to complain, according to David Cortman, an attorney for the two men. The two men were with the organization Gideons International and were distributing Bibles.