Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege was named a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his work bringing physical and spiritual healing to tens of thousands of women raped by militants in the country’s civil war and ongoing conflict. At the Pentecostal-run Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, he provides holistic care for women, starting with a specialized procedure to address fistulas and other injuries from rape. Mukwege has led a crusade against sexual and gender-based violence, saying to fellow Christians, “It is up to us … through God’s Word, to exorcise all the macho demons possessing the world so that women who are victims of male barbarity can experience the reign of God.”
The highest court in the United Kingdom ruled that the evangelical owners of Ashers Baking Company in Belfast could not be compelled to decorate a cake to say “Support Gay Marriage” in violation of their own beliefs. The five UK Supreme Court justices unanimously agreed with the bakers that declining a cake based on a message is different from discriminating against a client because of their LGBT identity or stance. The case was similar to Jack Phillips’s recent Masterpiece Cakeshop win before the US Supreme Court but resulted in a much broader victory for free speech protections.
The teen celebrated across West African churches as an inspiration will be kept as a “slave for life” by Boko Haram rather than executed. The Nigerian terrorist group’s ISIS-affiliated faction had earlier threatened her with death. Leah Sharibu, kidnapped in February along with 100 classmates in the northeastern village of Dapchi, refused to recant her faith and thus became the only one not released. The 15-year-old’s conviction has inspired Nigerian Christians, who joined her parents in advocating their government to intervene for her release. The terror group killed a pair of kidnapped female aid workers this fall for “abandoning Islam” and said it would keep a third kidnapped worker—Alice Ngaddah, a Christian UNICEF worker and mother of two—and Sharibu as slaves.
The 40,000-some Christians who have returned to northern Iraq after being forced out by ISIS will have a new wave of support from the United States as they rebuild. USAID doubled its assistance pledged to minority faiths in the vulnerable Nineveh Plains to a total of $300 million and sent new personnel to the region to prevent the kinds of bureaucratic holdups that previously slowed the funds. Religious freedom advocates celebrated the efforts, which follow up on Vice President Mike Pence’s promise to provide direct support to Christians, Yazidis, and other persecuted faiths.
Moody Bible Institute has appointed Mark Jobe, lead pastor of multisite Chicago megachurch New Life Community, as its next president. Jobe takes the helm at the 133-year-old Bible college in January, a year after its top leaders resigned amid concerns over its financial and theological direction. Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s new president, Scott W. Sunquist—dean of Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Intercultural Studies—is slated to begin his tenure this coming summer. He will become the third missiologist to lead a major American seminary.
Former Christian Post publisher and Christian Media Corporation (CMC) CEO William C. Anderson faces fraud and conspiracy charges after investigators with the Manhattan district attorney’s office discovered what they say was a scheme to obtain millions in loans under false pretenses. Anderson was indicted along with the CEO of IBT Media, which used to run Newsweek magazine. They have denied the charges. CMC and IBT have ties to controversial Korean pastor David Jang and the university he founded, Olivet, which is also under investigation by the Manhattan DA.
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