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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Amanda Casanova

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

An Oklahoma teenager is being charged with a felony for making a terrorist threat after the 18-year-old told co-workers that she had bought an AK-47 and had an urge to “shoot 400 people for fun.”

According to ABC News, Alexis Wilson showed her coworkers at a pizza restaurant in McAlester, Oklahoma pictures and videos of the rifle. She allegedly told her coworkers that “there were so many people” at her former school, McAlester High School, that she wanted to shoot.

Wilson was arrested and police with the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office said they found the rifle in her bedroom. Police also found a 12-gauge shotgun, six high-capacity magazines and rounds of ammunition.

"This is probably everybody's biggest fear in the United States right now -- a school shooting," Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris told ABC News in an interview Tuesday. "Lots of people don't want to acknowledge that this, an active shooter or school violence, is probably the biggest threat in America right now."

"There's no time to sit around and wait on it. I don't want one of my schools in my county shot up. I don't want anybody hurt," he said. "So when I got the information, I spoke with my deputies and I told them not to go home until they had it resolved and taken care of."

According to police, Wilson dropped out of school during her freshman year. While she was in school she had been suspended for bring a knife to campus and having a swastika symbol on her belongings.

"Alexis also then stated to me that she used to be suicidal and borderline homicidal to the people of Mcalester School because she was bullied," one of the arresting officers wrote in the incident report. "I asked Alexis if she had thought about hurting anyone at the school and she stated not recently but she has in the past."

Photo courtesy: Kyo Azuma/Unsplash

A video uncovered by a Christian nonprofit organization shows how North Korea is teaching people in the country to identify and silence Christians and other religious believers.

According to the Christian Post, the video from the Voice of the Martyrs tells the story of Christian evangelist Cha Deoksun who illegally fled to China to find her uncle. She came across Christian church Seotap Church.

But the video calls the church a place for “spies” and an “anti-republic” community.

“Seotap Church is operated by disguised pastors from the puppet South Korea government’s secret service,” the video says. “It harbors homeless illegal trespassers, providing anti-republic (anti-North Korean) religious study, effectively training them as spies.”

The video says Deoksun became a “fanatical believer” and came to North Korea to launch an underground Christian network.

“She was completely fooled by the enemy,” it says.

Deoksun eventually turned herself in for illegally crossing into China and she was released.

“Instead of being grateful for the forgiving policy party (the Workers’ Party of Korea), she gave thanks to the ‘God of mercy,’” the video states.

The video called her a “spy” who tried to recruit others while “on a mission from the enemy, absurdly trying to establish the kingdom of God.” Deoksun, the video says, was reported and found by officials.

“It is unclear how Deoksun died, but it is possible that she was executed,” the Voice of the Martyrs said in a statement. The group said she “served the Lord without recognition, just as many North Korean Christians do today, despite their government’s attempts to eradicate Christianity.”

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

The former president of Planned Parenthood says the organization is trying to silence her about its work.

Dr. Leana Wen recently sent a letter to the Planned Parenthood board, saying that her severance package also included a confidentiality agreement.

In the letter, which was leaked to the New York Times, Wen said the organization was withholding her severance and some health insurance benefits as what she called “ransom” in exchange for a confidentiality agreement.

“No amount of money can ever buy my integrity and my commitment to the patients I serve,” she said.

“I'm a doctor. I have to be able to speak to my patients about reproductive healthcare. I’m a professor. I have to be able to speak to my students about reproductive healthcare,” Wen said.

Wen was ousted from the top role in July after only serving for eight months.

She says the organization is now operating with a “stridently political, abortion-first philosophy.”

"It is deeply hypocritical [that Planned Parenthood] would attempt to enforce a gag order on its immediate past President/CEO while fighting the Trump administration’s gag rule on Title X providers,” Wen said.

Wen was referring to a Trump administration Title X policy that stipulates that grantees who receive federal funds do not perform or refer for abortions.

Wen, however, said she wasn’t pleased that her letter was leaked, but she later posted on Twitter about the situation, the Christian Post reports.

"This is a confidential dispute with my former employer over honoring the terms of my employment contract,” she said. “They want to silence my voice as a public health expert. I simply will not sign away my right to speak my mind. I won’t compromise my integrity.”

Planned Parenthood’s senior Vice President for Communications and Culture, Melanie Newman, said Wen’s claims are “unfortunate, saddening and simply untrue.”

She said Planned Parenthood was working to come to a final agreement with "language to reasonably meet [Wen’s] concerns about the scope of the confidentiality clause and her ability to speak publicly about issues of importance to her.”


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Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Jamie McCarthy/Staff