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  • Hot Topics

    Do You Really Care about Evangelism? If So, You Need To Do More Than Pray
    Prayer is the starting point, not the endpoint, of our journey in helping people from darkness to light.
    What to Give Up for Lent 2018? Consider Twitter’s Top 100 Ideas
    (UPDATED) On the first VaLENTine's Day since WWII, it appears chocolate and alcohol will be absent from many dates.
    C. J. Mahaney Withdraws from T4G
    Following Rachael Denhollander’s Sovereign Grace claims, the former SGM president once again says he wants to avoid distracting from the biennial conference.
  • News & Reporting

    Court: Pakistani Christians Must Reveal Religion to Vote or Apply for Jobs

    Religious ID on passports has proven useful to asylum seekers. But expansion targeting Ahmadis threatens Christians’ employment prospects.

    Pakistan’s citizens must now declare their religion when applying for identity documents, or if they want to work in government or register to vote, Islamabad’s High Court ruled this month.

    Applicants who disguise their true religion defy the constitution and betray the state, the judge stated. Their true religion must now also be visible on birth certificates, ID cards, voters’ lists, and passports.

    Those who apply for a job in the judiciary, armed forces, civil services, and other government jobs also need to submit an affidavit declaring the Khatm-i-Naboowat (that Muhammad was the final prophet), stated Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in his ruling, as reported by Pakistani newspaper Dawn.

    Human Rights Watch’s Saroop Ijaz said the judgement “would enable and incite violence,” in particularly directed at the Ahmadi community, Reuters reported.

    “All [the judge’s] specific instructions are about ensuring and finding out who is an Ahmadi,” human rights lawyer Jibran Nasir told Reuters. He said the order would provide the government with lists of who belonged to which religious minority.

    Pakistani passports already show the holder’s religious belief. A local source told World Watch Monitor (WWM) that minority groups, such as Christians and Ahmadis, did not object against this because it has benefited them in, for example, applying for asylum elsewhere.

    A previous move by the government in 1992 to try to add citizens’ religious belief to their ID cards, however, was met with protests by Christians, who said they would face economic and social exclusion. The idea was then shelved.

    Christians and Ahmadis are two of a number of minority groups in the Islamic Republic of ...

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    The 10 Celebrities Evangelicals Trust Most and Least on Politics

    Survey ranks political endorsements from Trump to Oprah to Jerry Falwell Jr.

    Jerry Falwell Jr.’s political advice falls somewhere between President Donald Trump’s and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s when ranked by evangelicals—and Americans overall—in a new poll of registered voters.

    According to Morning Consult, endorsements by prominent religious leaders hold more clout with self-identified US evangelicals than those by other celebrities, but still aren’t as impactful as endorsements by other politicians themselves.

    Evangelicals were most likely to heed recommendations by top leaders from recent administrations; nearly half (49%) said Trump’s endorsement would make them more likely to vote for a particular candidate, more than any other figure.

    Vice President Mike Pence (46%), President George W. Bush (43%), House Speaker Paul Ryan (34%), and President Barack Obama (33%) made up the rest of the top five for evangelicals, while a few spiritual and religious leaders ranked among the top 10: Oprah (31%), Joel Osteen (28%), and Jerry Falwell Jr. (27%).

    (Editor’s note: Morning Consult’s survey, conducted online from February 28 to March 2, relied on a multiethnic sample of 565 evangelicals for its questions for all current and former US presidents (and spouses) in the survey, while questions on other celebrities had smaller sample sizes and thus larger margins of error.)

    Pope Francis, Osteen, and Falwell Jr. were the only religious figures in the poll. During the 2016 campaign, Osteen called Trump “a friend of our ministry” and “a good man,” while Falwell Jr.—president of Liberty University and son of the late Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell—was among the first evangelicals to officially endorse him.

    Trump—who ...

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    Is ISIS Really Muslim?

    Christians can learn from Egyptian debate over terrorism and true Islam.

    For Egyptian Christians, 2017 was the deadliest modern year on record. At least 87 were killed by terrorists.

    But despite being labeled by ISIS as its “favorite prey,” Copts were only 12 percent of such fatalities last year. Far more Muslims died in extremist violence at the hand of fellow believers.

    Unless they aren’t believers at all.

    If American Christians often don’t know how to understand Islam, they can take some comfort knowing that Egyptian Muslims struggle too.

    A tragic case study occurred in December, when more than 300 people were killed at a Sinai mosque belonging to a Sufi order. Sufi Muslims are known for their mystical practices in search of spiritual communion with God. Many also seek intercession at the graves of Muslim saints.

    In casual but solemn conversation at an upper-class organization in Cairo, one well-educated Egyptian woman reflected on the tragedy with colleagues. “Yes, but they are Sufis,” she said. “They’re not really Muslims.”

    The woman was not making light of the massacre, nor justifying it. But she had internalized a message preached by another type of Muslim—Salafis—who judge Sufi practices to be outside the bounds of orthodox Islam. And when Salafis become jihadists, they may well kill Sufis as apostates.

    In angry conversation with a middle-class taxi driver in Cairo, one typical Egyptian denounced ISIS for its crimes against both mosques and churches. “No, we can’t say that they aren’t Muslims,” he said. “Of course they are.”

    What causes such confusion? Innocent victims, praying in a mosque, are placed outside of Islam while murderers, salivating at the entrance, remain in the faith?

    At issue is ...

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    Turkey Wants to Keep American Pastor Behind Bars for Life

    American officials and supporters say Andrew Brunson has been “unjustly imprisoned” under false charges.

    Turkish prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for jailed US pastor Andrew Brunson in an official indictment presented to Izmir’s 2nd Criminal Court on Tuesday.

    Arrested without bail since October 2016, Brunson is accused of being “a member and executive” of the Islamic movement led by self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused of orchestrating the failed July 2016 coup attempt to overthrow the Turkish government.

    According to the semi-official news agency Anadolu Ajansi, the formal indictment also charges the pastor with establishing links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and obtaining espionage information for political and military purposes.

    If the indictment is accepted by the court, formal trial proceedings are expected to be set in motion against Brunson. To date, neither the pastor nor his lawyer have been allowed any access to the legal file of investigations conducted by Turkish authorities into his case.

    Commenting on the indictment, the two vice chairs of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Sandra Jolley and Kristina Arriaga, said:

    USCIRF urges President Trump and others in the administration to redouble their ongoing efforts to secure Pastor Brunson’s release. No stone should be left unturned in our efforts on behalf of this unjustly imprisoned American.

    We call again for his immediate release and, if this is not forthcoming, for the administration and Congress to impose targeted sanctions against those involved in this miscarriage of justice.

    “USCIRF is appalled that Turkish officials are seeking a possible life sentence for Pastor Brunson and are accusing him of leadership in a terrorist organization,” they added.

    “The ...

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  • Women

    Joni Eareckson Tada: Why Suicide Is Everybody’s Business
    Society’s moral resolve hinges on the interdependence of the sick and the well.
    Babies Need Their Moms. But Moms Need Paid Leave.
    “Conservatives love my family-first message, but you have to pay for that message,” says researcher.
    Iranian-American Minister: Why the Bible Belt Is the Perfect Place for Muslim Refugees
    Samira Page sees the church mobilizing to serve Dallas’s influx of new neighbors.
    Feeling Loved by God Buffers Body Esteem in Men More Than Women
    Two psychologists at Hope College respond to Christian young adults who struggle with body satisfaction.
  • CT Music

    Interview: Creating Worship Songs for a Welcoming Community
    Isaac Wardell’s latest collaborative project, The Porter’s Gate, marks a change from Bifrost Arts.
    Interview: Don’t Miss Steven Curtis Chapman’s Point
    Even his happiest, most heartwarming music has been fueled by tragedy and pain.
    Review: Crowder Goes Hog Wild
    "Neon Steeple" is a throwback and a step forward at the same time.
    Review: The Musician Is a Master
    To understand why Phil Keaggy is receiving ASCAP's Golden Note Award, you really need just one album.
  • CT Movies

    Review: Joy
    The film is uneven, but Joy knows just who she is.
    Review: The Revenant
    In the 1820s frontier wilderness, survival is a bear.
    Review: Concussion
    Hollywood tries to turn a clash between science and a powerful institution into an immigrant doctor's "such a time as this."
    Review: 45 Years
    When the ground beneath a marriage is shaken, can it hold up?
  • Most-Read Articles

    Lead Us Not Into Scandal
    While some other evangelicals stumbled in national news, Graham's Modesto Manifesto kept him from falling.
    What I Would Have Done Differently
    Billy Graham's regrets, in his own words.
    Billy in the Oval Office: A Story of Faith, Friendship, and Temptation
    Journalist Nancy Gibbs recalls Graham's relationship with six decades of American presidents.
    Evangelist Billy Graham Has Died
    'America's pastor' shaped modern evangelicalism.
Top Story March 20, 2018
How a Humble Evangelist Changed Christianity As We Know It
How a Humble Evangelist Changed Christianity As We Know It
Churches were divided. Believers eschewed cultural influence. Liberal modernism was on the move. Then God made Billy Graham.
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