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He grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:20-21

EDITORIAL God who makes the Impossible, Possible! Dearly beloved brothers and sisters in Christ. Greetings to you in the most precious name of our loving Saviour Jesus Christ! Romans 4 has been an inspiration to me this past month, uplifting my faith in God! Paul has in mind a special reason why faith glorifies God's future grace. Simply put, the reason is that this God-glorifying faith is a future-oriented confidence in God's integrity and power and wisdom to follow through on all his promises. The faith of Abraham was a faith in the promise of God to make him the father of many nations. This faith glorified God because it called attention to all the omnipotent, supernatural resources of God that would be required to fulfill it. Abraham was too old to have children, and Sarah was barren. Not only that: How do you turn a son or two into “many nations,” which God said Abraham would be the father of? It all seemed totally impossible. Therefore, Abraham's faith glorified God by being fully assured that he could and would do the humanly impossible. This is the faith we are called to have. That God will do for us what we could never do for ourselves. I hope and pray that this magazine boosts your faith, encourages your walk with God and uplifts you. While you read through these pages, I pray that you experience the true love and spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! God Bless!

Isaac Vadavana Vice Chairman Sathyam Service Trust

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VOLUME 8 ISSUE 7 JULY 2018 Rs. 100/-

CONTENTS

PAGE

1.

Marriage and Morality : Dr. John Mathew .........................................................................7

2.

This We Believe : Dr. Alexander Kurian .............................................................................9

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Being Female.... a Biblical Viewpoint : Leonie Poole .........................................................11

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Eternal Life : Joni Eareckson Tada ..................................................................................13

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Our Filial Duties : Dr. Thomas Kulanjiyil .........................................................................15

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Light in the Darkness : Joshua Makkappallil ....................................................................17

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Pro-Life : Dr. Joseph Mizzi.............. ................................................................................19

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News / Events ...............................................................................................................21

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Being female…. a Biblical viewpoint Contd. By Leonie Poole

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BANGALORE NEWS YOUNG MEN'S EVANGELICAL FELLOWSHIP RETREAT The Young Men's Evangelical Fellowship in association with Agape Christian Assembly, will be conducting a one say special retreat at Bangalore on Wednesday, August 15, 2018. The theme for the retreat is 'Prepare For Rapture'. Esteemed Speaker will be Brother K. A. Mathew, Chennai. The event will be held at: Agape Christian Assembly Hall, Vaddarapalya, Horamavu, Main Road, Bangalore - 560043. For details, please contact: Bro. Raju K. Mathew, Bangalore: +91-9448619619 Evg. Simon A., Bhadravathi: +91-9902211862

figure in India has praised Christians for refusing to resort to violence when protesting against a growing wave of attacks by religious extremists who support the ruling nationalist party. About 20,000 Christians from at least 16 towns in the region have taken to the streets to demonstrate against sustained aggression directed at the faithful. The bishop described the Christian campaigners as “always peaceful, never violent”. Christian persecution watchdogs have accused police not only of failing to protect religious minorities under attack, but also of persecuting Christian victims of violence.

Five women from Jesuit school gang-raped in India

Citizens Come Together to Condemn Arrest of Five Accused in Bhima-Koregaon Case New Delhi: Over 200 intellectuals, artists, academicians, lawyers, journalists, and students have issued a statement condemning the arrests of five human rights activists, professors and lawyers in connection with the BhimaKoregaon clashes. The signatories to the statement have described the arrests as “a clear manifestation of state terror to crush the voices of dissent in this country”. Criticising the misuse of the IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to keep the accused in jail, the statement has pointed out that the accused worked “for the assertion of oppressed and marginalised communities against majoritarian forces, spoke out against Brahmanical patriarchy.” And that while they are being shut in jail over outrageous charges, “the perpetrators of violence during the Bhima-Koregaon clashes enjoy the protection of the state”.

Christians Protest Amid Surge in Religious Nationalist Attacks in India Christians have protested after a series of church desecrations and the murder of a pastor. A senior Church

Five women were abducted from a Jesuit-managed school and gang-raped in a forest near the Khunti area of India's Jharkhand state, police said. Unidentified men on six motorcycles took away the women on the afternoon of June 20 while they were performing a play about social awareness, said A.V. Homkar, the area's senior police official. He said investigators have detained nine people for questioning but have not established their identities. Jesuit Father Xavier Soreng, a social activist in state capital Ranchi, said the crime was reported to police only on June 21 morning as the victims were frightened because the attackers had threatened to kill them if they went to police. He said the attackers beat up the women and took them away at gunpoint. They also attacked six men and took them away. The men and women were taken in separate vehicles but the men were released earlier than the women. The women were taken further into the forest and sexually attacked before being released late in the evening, the priest said. 21


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INDIA NEWS Sikhs, Christians detained in US say they faced 'religious persecution' in India As many as 52 Indians, most of them Sikhs and also some Christians, are being held at a detention center in the US state of Oregon. They said they wanted to seek political asylum in the United States as they faced “severe religious persecution” in India. The Indians are part of a larger group of 123 people who are being held at a facility in Sheridan, Oregon, as illegal immigrants, the Press Trust of India reported.The detention center was visited by a group of Congress members belonging to the Democratic Party. One of them, Representative Suzanne Bonamici, wrote: “Through our Punjabi translator, we learned that these men were planning to request asylum because they faced severe religious persecution in India. Most are Sikh or Christian. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, India ranked fourth-worst among 198 countries in terms of religious intolerance – government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion.

India's Mizoram snubs Yoga Day as 'antiChristian' World Yoga Day proved a big hit across India on June 21 as Prime Minister NarendraModi urged the nation to revel in and promote its culture but it was largely ignored in Christiandominated Mizoram state. While many Catholics in other parts of the country joined the mass group exercises organized that Thursday, some religious groups in the northeastern state dubbed the event "anti-Christian," according to local media. "Ours is a Christian state. We cannot accept yoga because we see it as a part of Hinduism," said Vanlalruata, president of the People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (Prism), a newly floated political party. "We refuse to practice yoga and we will keep opposing this celebration in our state," he added.Some people in Mizoram, which is 90 percent Christian, told ucanews.com they considered it incompatible with their local culture and religion.

China's 'Underground' Churches Told to 'Seek Guidance' from State-Approved Bodies A newly implemented directive from the Chinese government forces Protestant 'house churches' and Catholic 'underground' communities to seek 'guidance' from

recognised religious organisations. A notification from the State Administration for Religious Affairs, issued earlier this month, requires organisers of religious activities at temporary sites to also apply for a permit that is valid for three years, Catholic news website UCAN reported. According to Professor Ying Fuk-tsang, director of the Divinity School at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, these recognised religious organisations include the China Christian Council and the national committee of the ThreeSelf Patriotic Movement, which are known in China as the “two organisations”. The revised regulations have in reality been in force since the early 1980s, according to Aaron Ma, an Asia-based researcher for the Christian advocacy charity Open Doors International, but he said they were now being taken more seriously.

UN Chief 'Personally Concerned' about Return of Christians to Iraq and Syria

The UN's Secretary General has stressed the importance of Christians returning to the areas from which they fled in Iraq and Syria. “I am fully convinced that after the stability of the situation in Iraq and Syria and the adoption of a certain political decision, it is very important to ensure the return of the Christians, in general, to the religious minorities, and the Yazidis themselves, to their homeland,” AntónioGuterres told Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. “My concern is very personal,” he added. The secretary general made his comments on World Refugee Day, as Refugee Week is marked around the world. The 2017 Global Report of the UN High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) noted that the number of refugees and internally displaced people as a result of conflicts reached a new record last year. 23


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Christian Death Toll from Herdsmen Attacks Mounts in Adamawa State, Nigeria Muslim Fulani herdsmen have killed at least 54 Christians this year in Nigeria's northeastern state of Adamawa, according to area sources.In a state where predominantly Christian Bachama tribesmen have formed militias in response to violence by Islamic extremist group Boko Haram and heavily-armed Muslim Fulani herdsmen, Christians were slaughtered in the Numan, Demsa, Lamurde and Girei areas, the sources said. At least 15 Christians were killed in the Numan area on May 2 when Fulani herdsmen attacked Bang, Nyanga, Bonki and Nzomosu villages, area resident Harold Wilson told Morning Star News by text message.“About 400 armed Fulani herdsmen carried out the attacks,” he reported.“Nigeria has suffered untold bloodshed from killings, maiming, traumatizing of innocent citizens around the north-eastern, north-central and Middle Belt states, as a result of the frequent attacks by the Fulani herdsmen times without number,” the bishops stated.Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria's population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.Nigeria ranked 14th on Open Doors' 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

Pastor in Eritrea Released after Decade in Prison International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Pastor OqbamichelHaiminot has been released after more than a decade of imprisonment. According to VOM Australia, Pastor Oqbamichel was the first senior pastor in Eritrea to be arrested and held after the controversial and wrongful crackdown on religion in 2002. Though he was only in jail for a short period after his initial arrest in 2003, he was constantly harassed and rearrested over the next four years. In 2007, he was finally arrested and jailed for more than 10 years even though no charges were ever filed against him.

bottle of water during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims are required not to eat or drink anything from the first light of dawn until sunset. He claims he was targeted because of his Christian faith. Hani ShamshounGirgis, 31, arrived at Giza railway station on 5 June to continue his way to the office of the Tahrir newspaper where he works, when he was approached by a police officer and asked to present his ID. Girgis told World Watch Monitor that as soon as the officer found out through his ID that he was a Christian, he started searching his bag.

Four Iranian Christians Set to Begin Ten-year Prison Sentences The four Iranian Christians who saw their ten-year prison sentences upheld by an appeal court earlier this month are expecting to have to report to prison any day now. Pastor YoucefNadarkhani, and fellow Church of Iran members Yasser Mossayebzadeh, SahebFadaie and Mohammad Reza Omidi could receive a call within the next 24 hours to report at the prison gate in their home city of Rasht, Mansour Borji from the London-based advocacy organisation Article 18 told World Watch Monitor. The four Christians were convicted of “promoting Zionist Christianity” and running house churches and appealed their sentences before the Revolutionary Court on 14 December last year but were unsuccessful.Iran is 10th on the 2018 Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to live as a Christian.

Algerian Pastor 'Amazed' as Three Churches Reopened

Coptic Christians Harassed for Drinking Water during Ramadan Fasting Hours

In one of three incidents reported to World Watch Monitor, an Egyptian photographer was detained by police for carrying a 24

Three churches recently closed down by authorities in Algeria's northern province of Oran were permitted to reopened on Sunday, 10 June. The three churches, located in Oran city, Ain Turk (30km west of Oran), and El Ayaida (35km east of Oran), were closed between November 2017 and February 2018. On Sunday, the three churches were allowed to re-open following a notification issued by the governor of Oran province. RachidSeghir, who is the pastor at the main church of Oran city and also oversees the other two churches, told World Watch Monitor about the moment he received the notification.


JULY 2018

WORLD NEWS Christian Cakeshop Owner Begins Creating Wedding Cakes again after Court Victory

Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri. Revoice says the mission of the conference is to discuss “supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sexattracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality."“A true Christian identity is man and woman, male and female, and found in Christ alone, not in an unclean term of sexual brokenness,” said Stephen Black, executive director of First Stone Ministries.

'I Can Only Imagine' Soars to No. 1 on DVD Sales Chart

Christian bakery owner Jack Phillips, who recently won his case before the Supreme Court in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, says his business has been busier than ever after his court victory. Phillips, who owns speciality bakery Masterpiece Cakeshop, drew national attention when he refused to make a cake for a gay couple's wedding, citing his religious beliefs. Although losing his case in the lower courts, Phillips appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court which ruled in his favor earlier in June. Phillips said he has received an outpouring of support as the case went before the Supreme Court and that his business has increased, although he initially lost 40 percent of his business.

The faith-based film I Can Only Imagine shocked Hollywood at the box office in March and it's doing the same in the DVD market this month, soaring to No. 1 in sales and rentals in data released Thursday, June 21, 2018. The movie tells the story behind the famous MercyMe song, detailing how singer Bart Millard's abusive father came to Christ late in life. It finished in the Top 4 at the box office in its first three weekends and has grossed $83 million.

Albert Mohler Voices Concern over LGBT Christian Conference

Rival World Cup Players Unite in Prayer after Soccer Match

Albert Mohler, Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, says he is “concerned” about a July conference that will discuss LGBT Christians. In an episode of “The Briefing” podcast released, Mohler said the event, called the Revoice Conference, seems to accept that sexual identity is “a defining issue that isn't changed by the Gospel and isn't transformed by sanctification." “I did not say that coming to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ results in any kind of immediate transformation of sexual desire," he said. The conference is scheduled for July 26-July 28 at Memorial

Two soccer players from opposing teams playing in the 2018 World Cup in Russia joined on the field after a game to pray together.Belgium player RomeluLukaku, a Roman Catholic, and Panama player Fidel Escobar, an evangelical Christian, knelt on the field after the match between the two countries. Belgium won 3-0. "Lukaku and Fidel Escobar kneeling and praying at the final whistle was a beautiful moment for many. Both players may represent different religions and had differing results, yet they found peace in what they were doing," wrote Oscar Flex - Kibet, a digital content creator, on 25


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Twitter. "Love for the game, God above all," he added. The image of the two soccer players praying after the game was widely circulated on social media. Many called it the “image of the day,”according to reports.

Study: Majority of Christians View God as a Young White Male

look different than in Sweden. Pastor John Hagee said in 2012 the problem begins “when the nation and the government start forcing you to wear a chip and they start forcing you to keep laws that you don't want to keep.” In 2017, Pastor Dave Doyle from Hope Christian Fellowship Church in Iowa made headlines when he warned against microchips being implanted. He was referencing a company that was allowing employees to use microchips for identification.

Thousands Come to Christ at Harvest America 2018

A research study found that most Christians imagine God as a young while male. The study was from psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and sampled more than 500 Americans. “From Michelangelo to Monty Python, popular illustrations have consistently shown God as an old and august white-bearded Caucasian man,” the researchers wrote in their study. The results found that of the sampling— 300 men and 181 women--- most chose a younger and friendlier version of God as they looked through hundreds of possible choices.

End Times? Thousands are Having Microchips Implanted in Their Hands

Thousands of people gathered on Sunday at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas for Pastor Greg Laurie's Harvest America 2018. According to The Christian Post, Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California, shared a message about his childhood and his struggle with drugs and alcohol.“I was going downhill fast … I was too cynical, too hard … but Christ changed my life one day" he said. He also talked about how the suicides of fashion designer Kate Spade and television personality Anthony Bourdain showed that fame and money are not the keys to happiness.

Losing Their Religion: Younger Adults are Less Religious, and Not Only in the US

Thousands of Swedish citizens are having microchips implanted under their skin to replace credit cards, keys and personal identification – an invasive action that is sure to draw concern from privacy advocates and perhaps End Times theologians, too. Agence France-Presse reported that about 3,000 citizens have taken the step out of a sense of convenience. “Swedes have gone on to be very active in microchipping, with scant debate about issues surrounding its use, in a country keen on new technology and where the sharing of personal information is held up as a sign of a transparent society,” AFP reported.Some pastors and End Times theologians believe microchipping will play a role in the End Times, although by their biblical interpretation it will 26

There are few spots around the world where parents don't have to drag their young adult children to worship: Ghana, a predominantly Christian county is one; Chad, a predominantly Muslim country, is another. In both African nations, younger adults are 3 percentage points more likely to identify with their faith than their elders, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center of religious feelings among older and younger adults. The study, which finds that younger people the world over are generally less religious than their elders, determined that the pattern is generally reversed where prosperity and life expectancy lag. Life expectancy in Chad and Ghana is among the lowest in the world. The survey of 106 nations, drawn from 13 studies undertaken over the past decade, shows that nearly everywhere else, young adults are drifting away from the faith commitments of their elders. The gap appeared to be widest in most economically developed countries.


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Truth Alive: July 2018  
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