Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world.
In today's edition:
- Increasing Violence Toward Nigerian Christians by Militant Islamists
- Divorce Rate Among Afghanistan, Iraq War Vets Increases by 42 Percent
- Bible Translators Giving High Priority to Newly Independent South Sudan
- Christian Satellite TV Ministry Interacts With Kids Online
Increasing Violence Toward Nigerian Christians by Militant Islamists
Christians in northern Nigeria are increasingly being forced to consider relocating from their ancestral home as a result of attacks from the militant Islamist group Boko Haram, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. On Jan. 4, Boko Haram launched deadly bomb attacks in three northern states, hours after the expiry of its deadline for Christians to leave the area and nearly a week after president Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency for the region. Violence continued during the weekend, as gunmen attacked a worship service and killed at least 15. Reports indicate that Boko Haram intends to change tactics to circumvent the state of emergency: "We have learned that they have taken note of areas where people gather, have marked Christian houses and churches, and will be attacking house by house at night," one source said. CSW's chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, said: "If the security situation does not improve and Boko Haram systematically targets Christian houses ... many indigenous Christians may ultimately be forced out of their ancestral homes."
Divorce Rate Among Afghanistan, Iraq War Vets Increases by 42 Percent
The divorce rate among military couples has increased 42 percent throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, according to new research by Family Life, the Christian Post reports. The organization says the first 90 days after deployment are the most critical for military marriages: "That window is the proven time frame during which people develop habits and set the tone for the future of their marriage," said Dennis Rainey of Family Life. It's critical for military couples to establish healthy habits quickly as they struggle to reconnect and restructure their families." As veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan -- who are often very young -- struggle to adjust back to civilian life, they are also faced with the issues of renegotiating roles with spouses and realizing that they have both changed during deployment. "Civilians often don't understand that, though the battle overseas may be over, our troops must now come home and fight for their marriages," Air Force wife Valerie Gaff of Family Life said.
Bible Translators Giving High Priority to Newly Independent South Sudan
Bible translation organization Wycliffe Associates is working to assist Bible translators in newly independent South Sudan with logistical, financial and personnel support, according to Donn Hallman of Wycliffe. South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in July, which has opened new doors for religious freedom. "There are more people without the Bible in the Sudan region than in any other area of Africa," said Bruce Smith, president and CEO of Wycliffe. Twenty-nine languages in South Sudan have no Scripture -- approximately 20 percent of the population -- and six projects are currently underway. "Our partners on the ground say that without our immediate action, no new translation projects can begin," Smith said. He added that translation needs in all of Sudan are great, with 21 million Sudanese waiting for the Bible in a language they can understand; Wycliffe is making translation in this region one of its top priorities for the coming years.
Christian Satellite TV Ministry Interacts With Kids Online
Christian satellite TV service SAT-7 recently launched a new website supporting an Arabic-language children's channel that broadcasts via satellite throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, Mission Network News reports. The audience of SAT-7 KIDS is children ages 4 to 13, and the new website, SAT7KIDS.com, has become an open door for them to learn more about the Christian faith through graphics and images. SAT-7 KIDS airs talk shows, dramas, educational material, cartoons, music and game shows produced especially for kids from a Christian worldview, and is the only Christian satellite TV channel for the 100 million youth in the Arab world.
Publication date: January 9, 2012