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Amanda Casanova


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Jerry Falwell Jr., the former president and chancellor of Liberty University, has filed a lawsuit against the college.

According to PR Newswire, in a complaint filed in the Commonwealth of Virginia Circuit Court for the City of Lynchburg, Falwell claims that Liberty University, the college founded by his father, Dr. Jerry Falwell, “injured and damaged his reputation” and forced his resignation.

Liberty University has declined comment on the lawsuit.

Falwell Jr. says statements from the school seemed to support the false claims an individual had made against him and seemed to be part of a plan by the Lincoln Project, a political group aimed at keeping Trump from reelection.

The Lincoln Project has denied any part in the allegations.

The complaint also alleges that Liberty University officials accepted the false claims of Falwell without investigation to force his resignation and “to tarnish, minimize, and outright destroy the legacy of the Falwell family and Mr. Falwell’s reputation.”

"Other than God and my family, there is nothing in the world I love more than Liberty University," Falwell Jr. said in a statement. "I am saddened that University officials, with whom I have shared so much success and enjoyed such positive relationships, jumped to conclusions about the claims made against my character, failed to properly investigate them, and then damaged my reputation following my forced resignation.

“While I have nothing but love and appreciation for the Liberty community, and I had hoped to avoid litigation, I must take the necessary steps to restore my reputation and hopefully help repair the damage to the Liberty University brand in the process," he concluded.

Falwell Jr. resigned from the college’s top post in August after a man in Miami claimed that he and Falwell Jr.’s wife had sexual encounters that Falwell Jr. sometimes watched. The man said he was not compensated for telling the truth about the affair.

Falwell Jr. later said the affair between his wife and the Miami man was real but insisted that he was not involved.

Related:

Liberty University Board Accepts Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Resignation

Former Liberty University Student Accuses Becki Falwell of Sexual Misconduct

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

JOS, Nigeria, October 29, 2020 (Morning Star News) – A church pastor in Nigeria who went missing on Oct. 19 has been captured along with two Christian women by militants of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), according to a video released by the terrorist group.

In the video clip uploaded on YouTube today (Oct. 29), the Rev. Polycarp Zongo of the Church of Christ In Nations (COCIN) says the militants captured him and the women as they traveled from Jos, Plateau state to the city of Gombe in the state of the same name.

“On Monday, 19 October 2020, I was traveling to Gombe for a church conference when we encountered the caliphate’s armed men who captured me along the way; and right now I’m with them,” Pastor Zongo says in the Hausa language, appealing to the Plateau state governor, state Sen. I.D. Gyang, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and COCIN leaders to help secure his release. “They too, captured two Christian women who are also here with me. I’m appealing that you all do all that is possible to secure our release from captivity.”

Pastor Zongo leads the COCIN congregation of Wild Life Park Local Church Council (LCC), in Jos.

ISWAP in 2016 broke off from the rebel terrorist group Boko Haram, which originated in Maiduguri.

On Jan. 20, Boko Haram terrorists executed the Rev. Lawan Andami, district chairman of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Michika County, Adamawa state, and father of eight children.

On July 22, Islamic extremists released a video showing them executing five Nigerian men, with one executioner saying it was a warning to “all those being used by infidels to convert Muslims to Christianity.” Three of the men shot to death from behind on the video were identified as Christians by a resident of Borno state, where the executions apparently took place.

As a part of its strategy of attacking Christians in Nigeria, Islamic terrorists from both ISWAP and Boko Haram mount road blocks on major highways in the northeast, stopping vehicles to take Christians into captivity.

They use some of the captured Christians for negotiations with the Nigerian government to get more funds for their arms and operations. In cases when such negotiations fail, the male Christian victims are often executed and the women are held as sex slaves.

Nigeria ranked 12th on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution but second in the number of Christians killed for their faith, behind Pakistan.

If you would like to help persecuted Christians, visit http://morningstarnews.org/resources/aid-agencies/ for a list of organizations that can orient you on how to get involved.

If you or your organization would like to help enable Morning Star News to continue raising awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide with original-content reporting, please consider collaborating at https://morningstarnews.org/donate/?

Article originally published by Morning Star News. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Derek Brumby

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — After a man killed three people Thursday (Oct. 29) at the Catholic cathedral in Nice, France, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the French Catholic community, offering prayers for the victims as well as wishes that “the beloved French people may respond united for good against evil.”

The attack, one of three on Thursday attributed to Muslim extremists, took place in the Basilica of Notre-Dame in Nice as a man reportedly yelling “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” stabbed the cathedral’s custodian and two women, one of whom was taken to a nearby café but later died, according to The Associated Press.

“It’s a moment of pain, in a time of confusion,” said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni in a statement to reporters. “Terrorism and violence must never be tolerated. Today’s attack sowed death in a place of love and consolations, such as the house of the Lord.

“The pope is informed of the situation and is close to the grieving Catholic community,” the Vatican statement continued. “He prays for the victims and their loved ones, so that the violence will cease, and they may return to see each other as brothers and sisters and not enemies so that the beloved French people may respond united for good against evil.”

Francis’ comments were conveyed in a letter sent to Bishop André Marceau of Nice and signed by the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, in which he condemned “in the strongest possible way such violent acts of terror.”

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, said a suspect had been arrested and was being treated at a hospital after being injured during the arrest, according to reports. Some reports suggest that the man worked with the aid of an accomplice, though investigations are still underway.

Only a few hours after the attack, a man was killed after attacking police agents in Avignon, France, and another was arrested after wounding a guard in front of the French Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It’s not clear if the attacks are related.

Muslim groups in France condemned the attack in Nice, asking “all Muslims in France to cancel all festivities for the Mawlid,” a holiday that began Wednesday that celebrates the birth of the Prophet Mohammed.

Tensions among the Muslim population in France have been high since the trial in late September of 14 people accused of aiding the January 2015 attack at the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which had republished images of the Prophet Mohammad. Seventeen staffers at the magazine died.

On Oct. 5, a French high school teacher, Samuel Paty, who had presented the Charlie Hebdo vignettes during a class on freedom of expression, was decapitated at his home in the Paris suburbs. French President Emmanuel Macron condemned Paty’s killers as  “cowards” and “barbarians.” After Thursday’s attack in Nice, Macron increased the number of troops deployed in the streets of French cities as a security measure.

In an interview with Religion News Service, Arnaud Bouthéon, co-founder of the Catholic group Mission Congress and a leader of the Knights of Columbus in France, said, “The Catholic community in France must not give in to sterile anger but must also have the courage to name and denounce evil.”

The caricatures, often obscene and offensive, have contributed to making Muslim faithful “feel despised, opening the way to barbaric violence,” said Bouthéon, adding that French Catholics face the challenge of being “peacemakers, with temperance and courage.”

The Catholic lay movement of St. Egidio echoed Francis’ call for unity, citing an interreligious appeal for peace signed in Rome on Oct. 20 by Christian and Muslim representatives.

“We invite believers of all faiths, in particular Christians and Muslims, to disassociate religion from any form of violence perpetrated in the name of God,” said a statement from the community of St. Egidio.

In the United States, the Catholic Association, a group focused on religious freedom, said the recent attacks in France are part of a global assault on religious liberty by radical Islamism and secularism. “These attacks come in the wake of an endless series of arson and vandal attacks on Catholic churches worldwide,” said Ashley McGuire, senior fellow of the organization.

“Today we add our voices to those offering prayers and condolences for the families of the latest victims of violent radicalism,” she added.

The French bishops’ conference, in expressing “immense sadness” at the news from Nice, said the attacks were a reminder of the martyrdom of the Rev. Jacques Hamel, who was killed by a terrorist in July 2016 while celebrating Mass in his church in Normandy. Such attacks aim at “generating anxiety” within society, they added, urging Catholics to hold on to the values of unity and fraternity.

“Despite the pain that grips us, Catholics refuse to surrender to fear and, with the entire nation, they want to face this blind and insidious menace,” the bishops’ statement said.

Church bells rang throughout France on Thursday, calling faithful to pray for the victims. All churches in Nice are closed and under police protection, said Marceau, the Nice bishop, in his own statement.

READ THIS STORY AT RELIGIONNEWS.COM.

Article originally published by Religion News Service. Used with permission.

Photo courtesy: ©RNS/AP Photo/Daniel Cole

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