Praise and Prayer

Praise and Pray: Prominent Atheist Reverses Course—Announcing he is simply "following the evidence wherever it leads," prominent atheist Anthony Flew has abandoned his belief that there is no God—thus throwing one-time fellow atheists into a tailspin. Gary Habermas of Liberty University, who has debated Flew and more recently befriended him, says "the impact on the atheist movement is similar to what would happen in the evangelical world if Billy Graham or J. I. Packer renounced Christianity" (World magazine, 12/25/04). While Flew is no longer an atheist, neither is he (yet) a Christian. He now believes that God created the universe, but no longer intervenes in its ordering. What caused his change of mind? He credits research into the nature of DNA. As Nancy Pearcey, author of Total Truth, explains it: "At the heart of life, at the center of each cell in every living thing, is a language, a code, or what we would call information.' There is no known natural process capable of producing information. A message or information is diagnostic of an intelligent source." World noted that C. S. Lewis started as a theist (Flew's present position) and ended as a Christian. Pray that Flew follows this course.

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Pray: Azerbaijani Officials Balk at Giving Children Christian Names—Eighteen-month-old Luka Eyvazov does not officially exist because Azerbaijani authorities refuse to issue a birth certificate for any children with Christian names. Speaking to Forum 18 News Service, a Christian working in the legal field said, "You can call your child Communist' or Tractor.' Why not a Christian name?" When the parents attempted to register their son's birth, they were told to select an Azerbaijani name instead of naming him Luka (Luke). Other Christians have faced similar problems registering names from the Bible, often taking months and several appeals before the birth certificate is issued.

Voice of the Martyrs via MissionNet

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Praise & Pray: Partially Paralyzed Iraqi Pastor Begins to Recover—Native missionaries in Iraq are grateful for the prayers of fellow believers around the world. They have helped to sustain Pastor H., the Christian leader in Iraq who was shot by opponents of the gospel in late October. One of the bullets damaged a nerve in his seventh vertebra, causing paralysis from the chest down. Updates received by Christian Aid indicate that he has begun the arduous recovery and rehabilitation process. He has already gained much movement in his arms. The other day they also stood him up for an hour. This proved very difficult for him physically as his heart pressure dropped and nausea set in, yet he endured it and is determined to continue therapy.

One year ago, Pastor H., who is only 33 years old, packed everything he owned and moved with his wife and son to [a town in northern Iraq]. Both he and his wife wanted to obey the Lord's call to serve Him in that town where so many need to hear the gospel.

Please continue to pray for him. Also pray for his congregation; they are still in need of him. The whole land of Iraq is in need of such messengers of Christ's love.

Mission Insider

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Pray: Pray for Christians in Iraq facing danger from militant Islamic groups because of their faith in Christ—Pray also that law and order will soon be achieved throughout the country. Recently, two churches in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, were bombed, causing heavy damage. The churches attacked were an Armenian church and one of the oldest Chaldean churches in the city. Middle Eastern Concern reported this morning that in both incidents armed men entered the property and forced everyone out before placing and detonating explosives.  The attackers have not yet been identified.

Voice of the Martyrs' sister mission in the UK, Release International, has released a video report on Iraq. This seven-minute report is now available in the video section of VOM's multimedia Website, www.persecution.tv. Registration is required, but membership is free.

For more information on persecution of Christians in Iraq, go to www.persecution.net/country/iraq.

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