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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Sarah Curlee

Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world

As actress Candace Cameron Bure released her first-ever children's book, she shared a message with her kids to remember their Christian faith.

Bure became a household name from a young age when she starred as DJ Tanner in the 1980s sitcom Full House. Her role was reprised in 2016 on the hit show's spinoff Fuller House

But Bure is interested in more than just acting. 2018 marks a career milestone for the multi-talented mother of three with the publication of her first-ever children’s book, Candace Center Stage.

The story follows Candace, a little girl with a larger-than-life personality, as she attends her first dance class. Candace enters the class thinking that she’s the finest dancer around and that she couldn’t possibly need instruction. Soon, however, she realizes that her dancing abilities might not be as exceptional as she thought. With her mother’s encouragement, the bright-eyed ballerina is determined to follow through and overcome the roadblocks she encounters with grace and confidence.

In an interview with US Weekly, Bure explained that “There’s always a little lesson learned in the book, and it really encourages kids to have confidence, keep trying, don’t be afraid to fail, and at the end of the day it’s okay to be yourself.”

The release of this children's book was a long-awaited dream for the actress. She told Christina Garibaldi in the interview that she's wanted to write this book since she had her first child 20 years ago. 

Candace Center Stage comes at a time when Bure is only a couple of years from an empty nest. When asked if she had any advice for her kids she said, “You really have to know who you are before you step out into the world … you have to be grounded, whatever that is for you. For us, our Christian faith is incredibly important.”  

Candace Center Stage was released on October 16th.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Tara Ziemba/Stringer

A new study finds that a majority of Americans believe that abortion is a sin.

According to Ligonier Ministries “State of Theology” survey, 52 percent of Americans agree that abortion is a sin compared to the 38 percent who believe it is not. 

In a press release issued by Ligonier Ministries, they note that there has been a slight increase in opposition to abortion since 2016, increasing from 49 percent opposition in 2016 to 52 percent in 2018. 

Today’s climate seems to suggest the opposite result and as such, Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow and president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Dr. Albert Mohler notes, “These survey results may surprise some people, but pro-life beliefs have definitely been gaining ground in recent years.”

He continues, “Pastors and local churches have played a big part in this by teaching about the sanctity of human life. Ultrasound images plainly show the humanity of the child in the womb, and they are provoking the consciences of Americans. Christians are playing a lead role in providing counsel and practical care for those in need.” 

Mohler added, “For almost five decades now, abortion has been a central issue in the life of America. With a majority agreeing that abortion is a sin, we have a clear indication that many Americans want the state to restore protection to the unborn child.”

“There would be considerable support for a Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade. There is clear support for protecting the life of the unborn, which explains overwhelming opposition to abortion on demand,” he asserted.

Dr. Stephen Nichols, chief academic officer of Ligonier and president of Reformation Bible College commented on the statistic saying, “Regular churchgoers are even more emphatically opposed to abortion, with 79 percent of them saying that abortion is a sin. Likewise, 76 percent of regular churchgoers say that sexual relationships outside of traditional marriage are sinful. This points to the important worldview impact of going to a faithful church.” 

The "State of Theology" survey, conducted by LifeWay Research for Ligonier Ministries, also released statistics on extramarital relations and gender identity. 

The research team found that a slight majority of Americans, 51 percent, agreed that sex outside of a traditional marriage is a sin, compared to the 41 percent who believe it is not.

The survey also found that 44 percent of Americans believe that the “Bible’s condemnation of same-sex relationships is outdated” compared to the 41 percent who believe it is still relevant. 

Additionally, the LifeWay Research team found that 51 percent of American’s disagree that gender identity is a choice, with 38 percent believing that it is. 

Ligonier noted an inconsistency with these statistics, however, noting that 77 percent of American’s “agreed that God created mankind male and female.”

“There is increasing confusion in society today regarding gender, with many believing that gender is a social construct or that people can change their gender,” Dr. Nichols said.

“The opening pages of the Bible declare that God created human beings as male and female. There is no gender confusion in Scripture. Our biological gender is woven into our identity and is fundamental to who we are as created by God.” 

Ligonier Ministries’ 2018 "State of Theology" survey was conducted by LifeWay Research, who interviewed 3,000 Americans to obtain their data.

Photo courtesy: Jonathan Simcoe/Unsplash

JOSNigeria (Morning Star News) – Muslims attacked a market in Kaduna state, in north-central Nigeria, on Thursday (Oct. 18), killing dozens of Christians and burning a church building, sources said.

Area residents said a Muslim at the market in Kasuwan Magani, 36 kilometers (22 miles) south of the city of Kaduna, began yelling “Thief!” in the late afternoon in a move calculated to cause pandemonium ahead of an attack on Christians and their homes and businesses.

“A Muslim raised a false alarm about a thief in the market, which caused stampede, and then other Muslims started chanting ‘Allahu Akbar [the jihadist slogan, God is Greater],’ attacking Christians, burning houses and shops belonging to Christians in the town,” area resident Kefas Mallam told Morning Star News.

The Rev. James Moore of the town’s Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), told Morning Star News that the assailants burned down one church building belonging to the Cherubim and Seraphim movement.

“There was an alert of a thief in the market,” he said. “When people heard ‘Thief! Thief!’ they were confused and started running. Unknown to the people, it was a strategy by the Muslim youth to attack the people. They went into killings, looting and burning.”

Moore, who is the area district secretary of the ECWA, said it was difficult to give a definitive casualty figure as the town was in complete lockdown following imposition of a 24-hour curfew the night of the attack. Kaduna Gov. Nasir El-Rufai visited the site in the Kajuru Local Government Area on Friday (Oct. 19) and said 55 people had been killed.
 
“According to what the police have briefed me so far, 55 corpses have been recovered; some burned beyond recognition,” he said.
 
Local press reported the violence began as an attack by young men attacking the market that escalated into a clash between “two youth groups of different religion.”

Gov. El-Rufai told reporters that the state government had imposed a curfew in the area and security agencies were restoring calm.

“It cannot continue, we are going to deal decisively with anyone involved in this,” he said. “This country belongs to all of us; this state belongs to all of us. No one is going to chase anyone away. So, you must learn to live with everyone in peace and justice.”

He added that the violence was “totally unacceptable,” and that anyone connected with or even observing the violence would be detained.

“I have charged the security agencies and the authorities here, local and traditional, to ensure that everyone connected with this, whether as a participant, instigator, or even watching while it is going on, is apprehended and prosecuted,” he said.

Area Muslims also attacked Christians on Feb. 26. Luke Waziri, a Christian community leader in Kasuwan Magani, told Morning Star News by phone that during the February attack, 12 Christians were killed.

“And 67 other Christians arrested after that incident are currently facing trial in a court in the city of Kaduna,” he added, lamenting that they were detained without cause by police under the direct control of a Muslim inspector general of police and a Muslim police commissioner.

“The sad thing is that the police are aware that Muslims in Kasuwan Magani have accumulated weapons with the intent to continually attack us, but they are unable to arrest these Muslims,” Waziri said.

Waziri, who is the national secretary of the Adara Development Association (ADA), a predominantly Christian ethnic group in Kaduna state, expressed sadness that while Christians had yet to overcome the trauma of the February attack, Muslims launched an assault on them again on Thursday (Oct. 18).

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population, while Muslims living primarily in the north and middle belt account for 45 percent.

Nigeria ranked 14th on Open Doors’ 2018 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.


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: Dami Akinbode/Unsplash

 

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