September Praise & Prayer

Praise: Zambian Police Free 280 Boys From Islamic School—Zambian police recently raided the Faiz-E-Abrar Islamic Trust School in Lusaka, freeing the 280 boys, aged 4 to 10, who were locked up in a warren of cells. The boys said they had been kept at the school against their will and were subjected to abuse. They were not allowed to speak their home languages in the school—only Arabic. Those who broke this rule received corporal punishment from their instructors. Adherence to Islamic religious rituals was compulsory. Those who strayed from the Islamic teachings were “caged in small rooms and made to eat food kept in a manhole.” The children received little academic teaching, mainly studying Islamic doctrine. Lusaka Police Chief Chandela Musonda said two foreigners were arrested, including Iqbal Patel, the institution’s chairman and director. Parents were promised that if they gave their children to the school, they would receive a university education in a Middle East country if they attained a suitable level of Islamic education and fluency in Arabic.

Frontline Fellowship via MissionNet

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Praise: Romanian Believers Set Goal of 10,000 ChurchesRomania is fast becoming a missions center as believers have set a goal to plant 10,000 new churches in the country. “Of Romania’s 5,000 evangelical churches, 3,000 have a great potential for leading people to Christ and themselves planting new churches in the nation’s unreached towns and villages,” says Gavi Moldovan of Misiunea Mondiala Unita (MMU), one of the nation’s strategic mission movements. The movement’s aim is to help leaders of the country’s three evangelical denominations—Baptist, Brethren, and Pentecostal—develop appropriate mission plans. National research and strategic conferences have resulted in the first truly cross-denominational targets: plant 3,650 churches in the next four years and ultimately 10,000. More than 1,500 churches have been planted in recent years as a result of training and support of 150 Romanian church-planting teams. The alliance also trains Romanian missionaries to work in other cultures. More than 25 missionaries supported by Romanian churches are being trained, with some already serving in Turkey.

Friday Fax via MissionNet

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Praise: Faith-Based Youth Groups Recruited in Drug War—Despite critics’ claim that the program violates the separation between church and state, the Bush administration has called on religious youth groups to join the war against drugs and began dispersing anti-drug informational materials to religious organizations, as part of the president’s faith-based initiative. Created by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the main guidebook, Pathways to Prevention: Guiding Youth to Wise Decisions, seeks to teach youth leaders how to handle questions and concerns about substance abuse. Recent research suggests religious involvement may reduce adolescent smoking, heavy drinking, and marijuana use.

Charisma News Service via Religion Today Summaries

Praise: 4,000 Come to Christ in Albania—Thousands of people gave their hearts to Christ in Albania as the Luis Palau Evangelistic Association’s Next Generation Alliance sent evangelists into the region June 16-21. Spokesman Tim Robnett says evangelistic meetings focused on politicians, prison inmates, teachers, and others. “We had a saturation evangelism ministry in seven different cities,” he said. “More than 4,000 people made decisions for Christ.” Robnett asks for prayer for follow-up, noting there were only about 8,000 believers in the country previously.

Mission Network News

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Pray (sad but true): United Church of Christ Urges Boy Scouts to Change Gay Policy—The General Synod of the United Church of Christ (UCC) has pressed the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay youths to join the organization. “Discrimination against anyone based on sexual orientation is contrary to our understanding of the teachings of Christ,” delegates said in a resolution adopted in mid-July. The resolution does not speak for the UCC’s 1.4 million members. One volunteer scout leader said, “I ask you to reconsider this attack on an American institution...this has everything to do with (gay) activists enlisting Scouting into their crusade.”

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