By Jonathan Clark
The Taliban squelches religious liberty in Afghanistan
Religious freedom in the country has dramatically deteriorated since the U.S. military withdrawal in 2021. International Christian Concern has noted, “The Taliban are working to completely erase Christianity or any religious minority from the country, even stating that there are no Christians in Afghanistan, an obviously false claim. Many Christians have gone underground to avoid being kidnapped by the Taliban ‘courts.’”
Afghanistan is ranked ninth on the Open Doors World Watch List of nations where it is most difficult to be a Christian. Please pray for our Afghan brothers and sisters in Christ.
35 million Scriptures distributed last year
The United Bible Societies released their Scripture Distribution Statistics for 2022. Bible societies around the world distributed around 35.5 million copies of the Scriptures last year. That’s a three-million increase compared with 2021.
In terms of languages, 5.8 million Bibles were distributed in Spanish, 5.4 million in English, 4.9 million in Portuguese, and 1.8 million in Mandarin.
Micah 4:2 says, “Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
Malta’s government backed down from abortion-on-demand bill
The European island nation off the coast of Italy was considering a bill to practically legalize abortion on demand. Right to Life UK noted, “The tactic of introducing what appears to be restrictive abortion legislation, including abortion on health grounds that, in practice, introduces abortion on demand in a country, has been used successfully by international abortion NGOs in a number of countries.”
Malta was one of the few European countries where abortion is not legal.
In response to the abortion-on-demand bill, over 20,000 people protested in Malta’s capital city of Valletta last December. And in June of this year, the government finally backed down from its plan to introduce the bill.
Hawaiian death toll now at 99
Tragically, at least 99 people have died in the wildfires ravaging the Hawaiian island of Maui, reports The Associated Press.
Correction of yesterday’s Worldview newscast on Lahaina, Hawaii
Yesterday, The Worldview reported that Maui’s city of Lahaina was completely destroyed.
In a correction to that story, local reports indicate an historic church building, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, and the neighboring rectory in Lahaina, notably survived the fires, providing a symbol of hope. Terrence Watanabe, a vicar in the area, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, “For us, it’s like a miracle. When we saw the news and saw the church steeple rise above the town, it was a great sight to see.”
A top tourist attraction, Lahaina once was the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, beloved by its kings and queens, as well as whaling ship crews and missionaries, according to the National Park Service. It’s been a National Historic Landmark for more than six decades, reports CNN.
According to the Pacific Disaster Center and Federal Emergency Management Agency, a total of 2,207 structures were damaged or destroyed and 2,170 acres were burned in Lahaina. Specifically, 86% of the buildings burned were residential.
In addition, 4,500 people are now staying in shelters with needs for 9,000 meals and 3,560 gallons of water per day.
U.S. Supreme Court dealt final blow to “Lemon” test, ensuring religious liberty at school
Remember Coach Joe Kennedy?
He got fired from coaching the Bremerton High School football team in Bremerton, Washington because he silently prayed on the 50-yard line at the conclusion of the game.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”
Thankfully, on June 27, 2022, the Supreme Court upheld Coach Kennedy’s right to pray after games as well as mandated that the school pay his back wages and re-hire him as football coach.
But First Liberty Institute, the Christian legal rights group which represented Coach Kennedy, asserts that this victory went far beyond the prayers of one coach.
The ruling in Coach Kennedy’s case was not just an important case—it was a monumental one! It protected the right of teachers, coaches, and employees across America to pray on a public school campus.
The Court overturned what was called the “Lemon” test. The test, named after the 1971 Supreme Court decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman, made it too easy for people to claim they are “offended” by a religious display, then sue, and win in court. The test caused many school administrators to mistakenly believe they had an obligation to suppress religious observances, often leading them to violate the rights of teachers and students.
In the 2022 Kennedy vs. Bremerton School District case, the Court delivered the final blow to Lemon and set a major precedent affirming that the government cannot censor private religious expression! Praise God!
Manteo, a Native American, was baptized August 13, 1587
And finally, Sunday marked the anniversary of the baptism of a notable Native American.
Manteo received baptism on August 13, 1587, into the Church of England on Roanoke Island. It was considered the first baptism in the new world and the first baptism of an Indian into the Church of England.
The Algonquian Indian helped English settlers at Roanoke make it through a harsh winter in 1585. Manteo also became one of the first Indians to ever visit England. He is remembered as a stalwart friend of the English in the new world.
And that’s The Worldview in 5 Minutes on this Wednesday, August 16th in the year of our Lord 2023. Subscribe by iTunes or email to our unique Christian newscast at www.TheWorldview.com. Or get the Generations app through Google Play or The App Store. I’m Adam McManus (Adam@TheWorldview.com). Seize the day for Jesus Christ.
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