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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Veronica Neffinger

The Christian film “War Room” remains in the top 10 after four weeks at the box office.
The film contains a powerful message to “no matter what you’re going through-PRAY and trust God!” according to Breaking Christian News editor Aimee Herd.
Many critics and moviegoers have praised the film’s focus on prayer and its compelling story, as well as its inclusion of African-Americans in the cast.
The film tells the story of “a crumbling marriage redeemed by prayer,” according to Patrick Ryan.
“War Room” is filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick’s fifth feature-length film, and many say that it is their best.
"'War Room' is a reminder to all who watch that there is power in prayer! I urge you to find a theater and see 'War Room,'" said Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
Pastor Tony Evans also offered his recommendation of the film.
“War Room” truly has the potential to change your life,” he said. “It’s that powerful and that important.”
Breaking Christian News reports that the film has made over $60 million with a budget of only $3 million. It finished at number nine in the box office this week.
Photo courtesy: David Whitlow, courtesy of AFFIRM Films/Provident Films
Publication date: October 8, 2015
An Italian who had done missionary work in the Philippines has been abducted by rebels. 
Christian Today reports that Rolando del Torchio, 53, was kidnapped by Islamist or communist rebels or members of a criminal gang who were posing as customers of the pizzeria del Torchio owns in the Mindanao region of the Philippians. 
Authorities report that kidnappings, especially of foreigners, have been frequent in the southern Mindanao region. The kidnappers most often hope to get ransom for their victims.
Del Torchio had been a missionary priest with the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Sibuco town, south of the Philippine city of Dipolog. 
Philippine police authorities believe the kidnappers transferred del Torchio to a motor boat after abducting him from his pizzeria, and headed for the southern coastal towns in Zamboanga del Norte province.
Police are also investigating whether or not del Torchio’s kidnappers belong to the same group that has carried out an abduction of a village chief earlier in the year. 
Christian Today reports that only last month, rebels kidnapped two Canadian tourists, a Norwegian resort manager, and a Filipino woman.
Publication date: October 8, 2015
Two Muslim brothers, who were converted to Christianity at Hillsong Church, have been denied protection visas by Australia.
Christian Today reports that Australia has denied the brothers’ application for the visas because they believe the brothers’ conversions are not genuine.
The brothers’ claims to be Christian were found to be “made up or embellished,” according to The Daily Telegraph, and found to suspiciously coincide with the date of their visa applications.
Both brothers have appealed the Refugee Review Tribunal’s decision. One brother’s appeal was denied, but the second brother is having a second hearing for his case because he argued that if forced to go back to Egypt, he would be persecuted and likely murdered for his conversion to Christianity.
The brothers reportedly were converted after attending a course called “Discovering Christianity” at Hillsong. They were also baptized into their new faith.
"I was always naturally curious and had so many questions about Islam but what kept that from showing is that I knew [those] who question Islam can be prosecuted and treated as a converter or kicked out of Islam, and the punishment of that is getting hanged to death,” one brother said.
The brothers initially came to Australia as students in 2010 and applied for the visas in 2013.
Both of their names and ages are being withheld.
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Publication date: October 8, 2015