From Matthew Parris’ extraordinary article in The Times of London, written following his recent return visit to Africa:
“Now a confirmed atheist, I’ve become convinced of the enormous contribution that Christian evangelism makes in Africa: sharply distinct from the work of secular NGOs, government projects and international aid efforts. These alone will not do. Education and training alone will not do. In Africa Christianity changes people’s hearts. It brings a spiritual transformation. The rebirth is real. The change is good.
“I used to avoid this truth by applauding – as you can – the practical work of mission churches in Africa. It’s a pity, I would say, that salvation is part of the package, but Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it.”
Parris’ article is full of first-hand, personal observations. Read the entire article.
NEW DELHI — The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan state on Thursday (March 20) passed a new “anti-conversion” bill with more stringent and arbitrary provisions than previous legislation that was stalled by objections from the former governor.
The constitutionally questionable bill states that if a society or trust is found to be “contemplating” the use of money for converting people, its registration can be cancelled. Christian groups fear this provision would provide the pretext for numerous complaints against Christian organizations.
The bill also obliges anyone intending to convert to send notice at least 30 days in advance or face a fine of up to 1,000 rupees (US$25). It adds that the same requirement and penalty will not be applied to a person wishing to revert to her or his “original religion.”
Christians note that the bill, like anti-conversion laws in other states, only vaguely defines “force,” “fraud” and “inducement,” clearing the way for spurious attempts to label Christ’s commands to feed the hungry and make disciples as “fraud” or “inducement.”
-Compass Direct News
CAIRO — Egyptian police this week released two Christian rights activists detained for three months. A host of journalists, lawyers, clergyman, family and friends gathered at the Cairo home of Adel Fawzy Faltas last night to celebrate the acquittal and release on Monday (November 5) of the Egyptian head of the Middle East Christian Association and an associate. Faltas, 61, and colleague Peter Ezzat, 25, had been held on unsubstantiated charges of insulting Islam and tarnishing Egypt ’s reputation abroad. Faltas had conducted an online interview with a controversial convert from Islam to Chris tianity only days before his arrest on August 8.
Sporting a wide grin, shorts and tennis shoes as well-wishers pressed around him at his 8th floor flat, Faltas said, “I was always a free man. When you respect yourself and what you are doing, then you are free.”
-Compass Direct News