A Bill signed by Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, will bring the Bible front and centre in the state’s public schools. The Bill was considered controversial owing to the opposition of the secular American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday 27th June marked the signing of House Bill 128, effective from June 30. The bill “allows public schools to offer an elective social studies course on the Bible that teaches Biblical content, characters, poetry and narratives and their impact on today’s world,”according to a press release.
“It (the Bible) really did set the foundation that our founding fathers used to develop documents like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights,” said Rep. DJ Johnson (R-Owensboro), adding, “All of those came from principles from the Bible,” he added. Governor Bevin went on to question the lack of Biblical legislation in other states around the country. “The idea that we would not want this to be an option for people in school, that would be crazy. I don’t know why every state would not embrace this, why we as a nation, would not
embrace this,” Bevin told the crowd.
Not everyone is rejoicing with the signing of this Bill, however. ACLU of Kentucky Advocacy Director Kate Miller, said that “a Bible literacy Bill that, on its face, may not appear to be unconstitutional, could in fact become unconstitutional in its implementation.” Miller continued: “We want to make sure that teachers can teach and make sure that they don’t go in to preach.” Supporters of the Bill have countered that the state’s Department of Education will help schools develop the course. Rep. Johnson said that “as long as we’re careful with the curriculum itself, there won’t be any constitutional issues.” He added, “And we’ll do that. You could be an atheist, and you would appreciate there is a lot of wisdom in the Bible,” Governor Bevin proclaimed.
Source: Russia Today; Newsline
Bible Study: Isaiah 52:6-7
OCTOBER Thank God that constitutional issues brought forward by ACLU have been overcome. PRAY WIDER for public school students to appreciate, as Governor Bevin states that “there is a lot of wisdom in the Bible.”
Something unexpected is happening in China, Christian music is going viral. Such is the case of “Rainbow”, a band of Chinese Christians taking the country by storm. Uncle Bing is the lead singer of the band which formed in 2012. Few knew the group until a national talent contest brought them to fame. Travelling from city to city, each member of the band had experienced many difficult and lonely nights away from their families and friends.
But then they found someone special. “Money kept me busy and I hardly had time for anything else,” says Bing. “Being exhausted and travelling was part of my life – until I found Jesus and everything changed for us, that united us,” says Bing. Eventually, they were inspired to change their style to contemporary Christian music. Now, they use their music to share the love of Christ with young Chinese rock fans. “We want young people today to experience something new about God,” Bing says.
His fans are attracted to the musical style, unknown to many Chinese. “I’m so happy that this music is different. They tell many stories and we hear about all those miracles. It’s something I have not experienced before,” says a Chinese fan. Xu Li has been part of the band since the beginning and has written some of the songs. As a new convert, she is very proud of what they have achieved and even more, she thanks God for giving her more than she could imagine.” “Some words come from our prayers. They are not sophisticated. I feel that God can hear our prayers, even when we are singing. We encourage our fans to do the same. God listens to us all the time,”says Xu Li.
“We are not perfect,” says drummer Li Yong Ge, “we just want to follow God, and where He leads us, there we will be!”. Today, “Rainbow” travels throughout China, relying on God for greater
success and praying they can reach more Chinese people with their message. “We will not stop. Our lives and talents belong to God. Our music is from God, “ concludes Bing.
Source: Mundo Cristiano; Armonia Noticias
Bible Study: Hebrews 2:12
OCTOBER Thank God that, in His good time, He brought salvation to members of the band, and they have dedicated their talents to God. PRAY WIDER they may find more and more creative ways to proclaim the Gospel to Chinese youth.
Wenxi Li, was released from a Shanxi province prison in China on December 18th 2014. Before his arrest, Wenxi Li worked at a Christian bookstore in Beijing. In 2012, Li travelled to Shanxi province to help local Christians open a new book store in the capital city of Taiyuan. But police raided the new business, Enyu Bookstore, and confiscated $6,000 worth of books that Li had brought with him from Beijing. When Li was asked to come to retrieve the confiscated literature, they immediately arrested him and put him in jail. Li was reportedly denied bail because of the seriousness of his “crime.” He was sentenced to a two year jail term.
But, according to Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) USA, while he fulfilled his prison sentence, Wenxi Li shared the Gospel with fellow prisoners. As a result, several put their faith in Christ. His wife, and mother of two, Cai Hong Li, remarked that she was content that God used a bad situation for His good purposes, even though the family had faced a lot of hardship as a result of her husband’s imprisonment. At the time she said: “I don’t think my husband being in prison is a miserable thing.” During Wenxi’s arrest, Cai Hong Li and their two children were harassed by anonymous sources. She was fearful for her children’s safety.
She added that she needs nothing but prayer from her brothers and sisters. “Prayer is the most precious thing,” she said. VOM says “China continues to arrest, torture and jail Christians associated with illegal house churches as they attempt to control or eliminate all religions.” Though all religions are being persecuted, those who follow Christ appear to be the hardest hit. Despite the government’s crackdown, Joshua Project and Operation World say China holds between 70 and 75 million evangelical Christians. VOM says an estimated 3,000 Chinese people are coming to Christ each day. Despite the threat of persecution, torture, and prison, millions of believers are continuing to meet in illegal house churches.
Source: Voice of the Martyrs
Bible Study: 1 Peter 3:12-15
OCTOBER Thank God that when the enemy seeks to persecute and imprison God’s children, He uses those plans to further the Gospel. PRAY WIDER for all prisoners professing faith in Christ to grow in the knowledge of Jesus.
According to Operation World, there were only about 500 Muslim Background Believers (MBBs – people who converted to Christianity from Islam) in 1979, when the Islamic revolution swept to power in Iran. Now, Operation World estimates that there are at least 100,000 MBBs in Iran, with some sources even placing the number as high as 1 million (figures impossible to verify). How could Muslims turn their backs on the faith they have grown with? What’s happening in Iran?
Mark Howard of Elam Ministries explained the phenomenon to CBN News in a recent interview. He said two main factors are involved: dissatisfaction with the harsh Islamic regime coupled with disillusionment with Islam in general and the bold outreach by Christians inside the country. “I think first and foremost we have to acknowledge that many people have been praying for Iran for a long time and that the Lord is doing something special in that region,” he said. Elam Ministries, was founded with the main objective of strengthening the Iranian church both inside the country and among the diaspora living in the Middle East and Europe. Writing in a blog on The Gospel Coalition web page, Howard said Iranians from diverse backgrounds have come out with compelling testimonies on how they found Christ.
One of those is Fatemah, a young Muslim girl who had been sexually abused by her brothers. When she was 11 years old, her family sold her into marriage, but soon her husband divorced her and sent her back to her family. Facing the prospect of more sexual abuse from her own kin, Fatemah ran away and began living on the streets. It was there she heard about Jesus and she readily gave her life to Him. She eventually married a Christian man. Then Fatemah sensed the Lord telling her to go back and minister to her family. Despite misgivings from her husband, she returned. To her surprise, her family listened to her Gospel message. Even more surprisingly, her parents and siblings all followed her and embraced Christ, too! Howard said, “The Lord saves us, but the Gospel’s also full of the power to redeem and the power to restore and bring reconciliation…” Fatemah now runs a house church in her family home.
Source: Elam Ministries
Bible Study: Psalm 20:5-9
OCTOBER Thank God for the large number of Iranians, from all walks of life, finding faith in Christ Jesus. PRAY WIDER for God’s grace to descend with mighty power on this nation.