Do you have peace in the decisions you’re making?
Batter up! It’s that season again, when baseball enthusiasts grab their padded mitts and start swinging their bats. Colorful uniforms with team emblems cover the baseball fields identifying each fan’s favorite team.
I once signed a loan contract I didn’t have peace about. I found out months later that I wasn’t told all the terms. I had to suffer the consequences because I didn’t follow my gut peace not to do it.
Kid's Daily Smile:
Why was the Math Book unhappy?
Because it had too many problems!
- submitted by Owen
In The News:
|Christians in Eritrea Punished for Their Faith
LOS ANGELES (Morning Star News) – Eritrean authorities are punishing 39 high school students for their Christian faith, excluding them from a graduation ceremony and subjecting them to beatings and hard labor, according to Christian support organization Open Doors.
After completing a four-month military training required in Eritrea, the students, including 11 girls, have been arrested for their “Christian beliefs and for their commitment to Christ,” sources told Open Doors.
“The youths are now enduring beating, forced hard labor and insufficient food and water” at the SAWA military training center, the organization reported in a press statement. “Sources said authorities are also threatening the students with long imprisonment and exclusion from university should they ‘fail to renounce Christ.’”
After completing school, all Eritreans are required to participate in national service. The 39 students were selected out from 17,000 students of the 26th national service intake who graduated on July 13, according to Open Doors. Graduating students then continue to Senior Secondary School to complete grade 12.
Since 2002, worship outside the government-sanctioned Sunni Muslim, Eritrean Orthodox Church (EOC), Roman Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea has been forbidden, with Protestant worship a criminal offense. In 2005, authorities also began persecuting the EOC, particularly those in the church’s renewal movement.
The government began a widespread crackdown on Christians outside the state-approved churches early this year, according to Open Doors, detaining them in harsh conditions. Christians make up 47 percent of Eritrea’s population of 5.2 million, and Muslims 50 percent, according to Operation World.
The Marxist-leaning architect of repression of religion and free speech in Eritrea, President Isaias Afewerki, has been in power since Eritrea’s liberation from Ethiopia in 1991; the National Assembly elected him as president 1993.
|After 12 Years, Turkey Closes Door on American Church Volunteer
After 12 years serving a church in Diyarbakir, Turkey, voluntarily and peacefully, Jerry Mattix suddenly is on the country's blacklist, World Watch Monitor reports. In the past two years, the Mattix family and at least six other foreign-born families have either been deported from Turkey or denied renewals of their residency permits. "Sadly, this is not just a personal vendetta on the part of the government," Mattix said. "Several other Christian workers in our region and connected to our church have been forced to leave in the last year." Diyarbakir is near the epicenter of ongoing clashes between Turkish military and Kurdish rebels, and not far from Turkey's border with Syria, over which thousands of Syrian refugees have fled, overwhelming local authorities. These issues have made the region politically sensitive for Turkey's ruling AK Party, which is trying to marry democratic principles with modern Islam. For their part, churches in southeastern Turkey say they have been deprived of their right to obtain help and support from foreigners. "There is a discomfort with foreign Christians here, and slowly they will clean them out," said Ahmet Guvener, pastor of the Diyarbakir Protestant Church, where Mattix had been a volunteer. "In the end the churches in the east will become weak and scattered, because there are no mature Christian workers among us."
Somali Extremists Step Up Attack
Somali and international leaders condemned a July 27 suicide attack at a compound housing Turkish embassy staff in Mogadishu that killed a Turkish guard and a Somali bystander while wounding others, Open Doors USA reports. The Somali rebel group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack in which a car laden with explosives crashed into the gates of the Turkish residence. Three al Shabaab militants, including the car bomber, were also killed. Just prior to the attack, al Shabaab promised in a series of Twitter messages to step up what they called their "Ramadan Offensive" in the second half of the Muslim month of fasting that ends Aug. 7. "Ramadan is a month of Jihad and sacrifice," one message said. "It's time for observing the most righteous deeds & offering gratitude to Allah for His blessings. And what better way to observe Ramadan and offer gratitude to Allah than striking the necks of the invaders and destroying their might!" The group said in the first half of Ramadan its fighters carried out over 100 attacks, mostly in and around the capital Mogadishu. These allegedly included 57 explosions and grenade attacks, 41 direct confrontations and ambushes, nine targeted assassinations and a suicide attack against an African Union Mission in Somalia convoy in Mogadishu on July 12 in which they claim to have wounded American intelligence officials. "Please remember to pray for the handful of secret Christians in Somalia," said an Open Doors worker. "Although al Shabaab threatens the society in general, these secret Christians are at particular risk.