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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Amanda Casanova

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

Protests in Hong Kong have continued following the death of a Christian student who fell from a parking garage where police clashed with protesters.

According to the Christian Post, the anti-government demonstrations have become increasingly violent.

“Protesters in Hong Kong have added to their arsenal javelins and bows and arrows, in addition to bricks and petrol bombs as they clash with police armed with tear gas, water cannon, and live bullets, in violent standoffs now spilling into university campuses,” The U.K. Telegraph reports. Police also said some protesters have “shot arrows dipped in gasoline and lit on fire,” and have used “electric saws.”

Last week, Alex Chow Tsz-Iok, a 22-year-old computer science undergraduate at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died from his injuries after he fell from the third floor of a parking garage to the second floor. Chow fell as police were using tear gas fire to disperse the protestors in Tseung Kwan O.

Protestors are blaming police for his death, vandalizing an on-campus Starbuck and the porch of the chancellor.

"The police tell the public that Chow’s death is by accident. But I won’t believe in it," said Jenny Chou, 22, a college freshman who was among the hundreds of people holding vigil at the site where he fell.

"I hope he will move on to a better place and Hong Kongers will continue to fight for what we deserve," Chou added.

Chow was part of anti-government demonstrations opposed to an extradition bill. The proposed bill would have allowed the extradition of suspects from Taiwan to other countries, such as mainland China.

Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu told the Legislative Council that more than 3,000 people have been arrested because of the protests since the end of October.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the U.S. is watching the situation with “grave concern.”

"We condemn violence on all sides, extend our sympathies to victims of violence regardless of their political inclinations, and call for all parties — police and protesters — to exercise restraint," the statement said.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Anthony Kwan/Stringer

Franklin Graham is asking believers to pray for President Donald Trump as impeachment inquiry hearings begin.

“This is a sad day for America,” Mr. Graham said in a statement shared on social media. “Our politics in this country has hit a new low. Nancy Pelosi and her followers in Congress have weaponized the impeachment process. After two years of the Russia collusion hoax, now they’ve turned to this.”

“In my opinion, asking another country to investigate corruption is a good thing — not a bad thing. This is just another attempt to tarnish and embarrass the President before the next election. We have so many problems in this nation that need to be addressed. Instead, the Democrats are fixated on only one thing — removing President Donald J. Trump from office,” he added.

Graham’s post comes just as the impeachment hearings begin in Washington, where the inquiry will also be televised live.

Trump said on Twitter that the impeachment inquiry is the “single greatest scam in the history of American politics.”

Graham said in his post that he is praying for the president.

“Pray for President Trump today, for God to give him wisdom, protection, and guide each and every step he takes. I pray that he and Melania will sense the presence of the Lord through this unjust inquisition,” he said.

Graham previously showed his support for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He asked believers to pray the night before the election. After Trump’s victory, he called the win a result of the “God-factor.”

“Did God show up? In watching the news after the election, the secular media keep[s] asking ‘How did this happen?’ ‘What went wrong?’ ‘How did we miss this?’ Some are in shock. Political pundits are stunned. Many thought the Trump/Pence ticket didn’t have a chance. None of them understand the God-factor,” he said.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Justin Sullivan/Staff

Former President of the United States Jimmy Carter has been admitted into the hospital.

According to Fox News, Carter, 95, was admitted on Monday evening into Emory University Hospital in Atlanta in order to have a procedure to reduce pressure on his brain.

A statement released by the Carter Center said that the 39th President needed the procedure as a result of a recent fall that caused a brain bleed. 

Mr. Carter has had several health scares in recent years, CBS News reports.

In 2015, the former president announced that he was receiving treatment for melanoma that had spread to his lungs and brain. Less than a year after announcing his diagnosis and after receiving immunotherapy drug treatments, Mr. Carter announced that an MRI showed no signs of cancer. 

Then in May of 2019, Mr. Carter took a fall that left him with a broken hip. 

Soon after the fall, however, Mr. Carter was back to teaching Sunday School lessons, something he does regularly at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia. 

In October, Mr. Carter fell several more times. This time the former president fractured his pelvis, leaving him hospitalized. 

Mr. Carter’s neurological procedure was scheduled for Tuesday morning.

Following his recovery, on November 3, Mr. Carter shared with attendees at his regular Sunday School service that he is “at ease with death.”

Referencing his 2015 cancer diagnosis, he said, “I assumed naturally that I was going to die very quickly.”

He continued, "I said a prayer about it, [but] I didn't ask God to let me live, I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death.”

Mr. Carter did not mention his recent injuries in the sermon, ABC News reports.

According to a statement from the Carter Center, “Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is recovering at Emory University Hospital following surgery this morning to relieve pressure on his brain from a subdural hematoma. There are no complications from the surgery.” 

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff