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News Snippets from Around the World

News Snippets from Around the World
News Snippets

Keeping you up to date on what’s happening around the world. Topics include items connected to Christianity and that impact on practising our faith, news on ethical issues, also news on countries who persecute Christians, and topics that affect our culture, additionally ones that impact upon Israel and Jewish people, and those which may possibly be a reflection of end times and associated prophecies.

Note: we endeavour to keep the news snippets updated weekly, but due to time restraints, it may not always be possible to do so.

*** Our apologies: our previous news snippets page crashed and we were unable to fix it, so we’ve created a new page with recent news. ***

OCTOBER 2020

18th: Thousands in France to rally after beheading of teacher: Killing of history teacher Samuel Paty has sparked outrage and memories of a wave of Islamist terror in 2015; Macron says a national tribute to be held. (The Times of Israel) [<ahref=”https://www.timesofisrael.com/thousands-in-france-to-rally-after-beheading-of-teacher/”>link]

18th: Europe faces soaring virus cases, Paris enters new curfew: Numerous countries announce new restrictions as daily caseloads break records. (The Times of Israel) [link]

18th: Over half of England’s population comes under new virus restrictions: Some 28 million affected by new limitations amid virus surge; government introduces three-tier alert system to try to contain disease. (The Times of Israel) [link]

18th: Study: COVID survives on skin for 9 hours, 5 times longer than flu: Japanese researchers say peer-reviewed findings show need for frequent handwashing to combat coronavirus transmission. (The Times of Israel) [link]

17th: France reels after grisly beheading of history teacher in Paris terror attack: French president calls killing of teacher, who showed students cartoons of Prophet Muhammad, an ‘Islamist terrorist attack,’ urges united stance against extremism. (The Times of Israel) [link]

17th: Beheaded French teacher was threatened online for showing Mohammed cartoons: Parent demanded Samuel Paty be fired, said Islam and the prophet had been ‘insulted’; not yet known if killer, named as Abdullakh A., had links to the school. (The Times of Israel) [link]

17th: New Zealand’s COVID-beating Ardern elected to 2nd term in landslide win: PMs popularity soared after she led effort to stamp out coronavirus — there’s currently no community spread and people therefore not required to wear masks or social distance. (The Times of Israel) [link]

17th: Iran’s virus deaths pass 30,000 but minister says actual toll may be double that: 4,721 patients in critical condition; officials continue to resist a total lockdown for fear of cratering the economy, which has been hard-hit by US sanctions. (The Times of Israel) [link]

17th: White supremacist pleads guilty in neo-Nazi plot to blow up Colorado synagogue: Plea deal describes Richard Holzer accepting fake explosives from undercover FBI agent last year while displaying Nazi armband, toting copy of ‘Mein Kampf’ in backpack. (The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Teacher who showed students Muhammad cartoons decapitated in Paris terror attack: Police shoot and kill attacker outside school; Macron denounces ‘Islamist terrorist attack,’ defends freedom of expression. (The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Presidential nominee Joe Biden says he backs transgender rights for 8 year olds: ‘I will flat out just change the law,’ USA: if elected Biden said that his administration would work to ensure the law the law shoes ‘zero discrimination’ and would protect the rights of Americans including children to be a transgender person. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

16th: In rare Zoom call with Israelis, Sudanese activists say country ready for peace: Violating local laws, group of journalists and artists from Sudan tell Israelis about the trials and tribulations of promoting normalization with the Jewish state. (The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Kanye West becomes the first ever artist to win both Billboard’s top gospel and top Christian album awards, US: the rap artist who became a Christian in recent times, garnered both awards with his album ‘Jesus is King,’ and the song ‘Follow God.’ (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

16th: Following Facebook, Twitter says it will ban posts that deny the Holocaust: ‘Hateful conduct has absolutely no place on our service,’ company says; move is praised by American Jewish leaders. (The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Saudi FM pushes Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, nixes imminent normalization: Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud says kingdom focused on bringing the sides back to the negotiating table: ‘All other things will follow from that’. (The Times of Israel) [link]

15th: Baron Cohen sued by Holocaust survivor’s estate over appearance in Borat sequel: Lawsuit says the recently deceased Judith Dim Evans, interviewed for upcoming film, believed it was a serious documentary and was horrified to learn it ‘mocks the Holocaust’. (The Times of Israel) [link]

14th: ‘Not our faith:’ A Bipartisan Christian political action group seeks to draw evangelical voters away from Trump, USA: The group encourages Christians not to vote for Trump. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

14th: Roe v. Wade (which legalised abortion) is not a ‘super precedent’ that can’t be overturned, Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett says, USA: The comments were made while she met with the Senate Judiciary Committee which is considering her for the role of Judge. (Christian Headlines) [link 1]

14th: Tribe that formerly practiced witchcraft and killed missionaries, turns to God, Papua New Guinea: the Yali tribe has turned to God and eagerly accepted 2,500 bibles that were flown to them by Mission Aviation Fellowship which travels to remote parts of the country. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

14th: 53% of Protestant Pastors plan to vote for Trump: Lifeway research poll, US: the poll discovered that 98% of pastors will vote in the election with more than 50% will vote for Trump, while an earlier poll in 2016 found a significant different to the current poll. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

14th: Germany agrees to pay $662 million in coronavirus aid to Holocaust survivors: Payments will go to some 240,000 survivors around the world, including in Israel and North America, over the next two years. (The Times of Israel) [link]

14th: Pandemic caused steepest emissions drop in modern history — study: But ‘unprecedented’ dip won’t help the climate emergency in the long term, researchers warn. (The Times of Israel) [link]

14th: Man sabotages Haaretz offices, threatens journalist: Suspect arrested after vandalizing circuit breaker panel at newspaper’s building in Tel Aviv, shouting, ‘What do you want from Bibi?’ (The Times of Israel) [link]

13th: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez argues Republicans would reject Jesus tody if he ‘repeated his teachings’ in congress, USA: Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez reprimanded Republicans fur using faith matters “as an excuse to advance bigotry and barbarism.” (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

13th: 70% of Jews plan to vote Biden, Pew study finds: Projected numbers are nearly identical to the real Jewish vote during 2016 US election. (The Times of Israel) [link]

13th: ‘God hears our prayers:’ President Trump asks God for wisdom, grace in leading America: a phone conference was held on Sunday between the President and people affected by Covid-19. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

13th: Pastor Margaret Court misses out on charity funds – because of her church’s stance on same sex marriage, Australia: the application for the grant was rejected by Lotterywest even though the grant was for a community outreach food program. (Eternity News) [link 1]

13th: the Gospel is a hit on Tiktok: the short video app has around 800 million active users around the world and includes the gospel, while the US Government believes it’s a threat to national security. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2]

12th: Women in Britain urge the Catholic Church not to use the ESV Bible at Mass, UK: the group of Catholic women have created an online petition which asks the Church of England and Wales to stop using a Biblical version which uses ‘gender-exclusive’ English. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

12th: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett said that she believes in the power of prayer, USA: the nominee also thanked Americans for encouragement. (Christian Headlines) [link 1]

12th: Four children orphaned, India: After her husband’s death, the children’s mother was banished from their community and her family because of her faith, and now the children have been orphaned after their mother died as a result of the banishment from their family and community. (Open Doors) [link 1]

12th: Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says thanks for praying for him: Morrison sent thanks to those who’ve been praying for him while he was at the National Prayer Breakfast at Parliament House, Canberra. (Eternity News) [link 1]

12th: World food programme wins 2020 Nobel Peace prize: the prize was awarded to the United Nations World Food Programme which works towards food security, improved nutrition and ending hunger. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

12th: Facebook bans posts that deny or distort the Holocaust: Reversing past position, Mark Zuckerberg says his opinion and the social media giant’s policies have ‘evolved’ after an increase in anti-Semitic violence in the US. (The Times of Israel) [link]

12th: In bid to whip Alzheimer’s, Israeli scientists use immune system to repair brain: ImmunoBrain Checkpoint’s antibody that boosts immune cells’ communication with brain seen effective in lab animals; clinical trials in humans to start next year. (The Times of Israel) [link]

12th: Polish divers face delicate mission to defuse British WWII ‘earthquake bomb’: Most nearby residents evacuated for 5-day operation that will attempt to slowly burn 19-foot bomb’s explosive charge without detonating, but some refuse to go due to pandemic. (The Times of Israel) [link]

11th: Man arrested over swastikas sprayed near Louvre museum in Paris: French interior minister laments ‘foul Nazi swastikas in the middle of Paris,’ as Georgian-born suspect held for property damage. (The Times of Israel) [link]

11th: UK magazine sacks new diversity champion over tweets mocking the Holocaust: Grazia UK, which hired Stephanie Yeboah to ‘fight for inclusion,’ says activist and model will ‘educate herself in collaboration with the Jewish community’. (The Times of Israel) [link]

11th: Coronavirus: WHO backflips on virus stance by condemning lockdowns: The World Health Organisation originally asked world leaders to instigate lock-downs, but now announces that world leaders should stop lock-downs. (News.Com.Au) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

9th: ‘Christianity doesn’t belong in China:’ communist officials demand churches replace crosses with nation’s five-pointed star, China: with ongoing persecution of Christians in China, this is the latest in their campaign to rid their country of believers. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

9th: Trump declares himself ‘medication-free’ as he resumes public speeches: Democratic rival Joe Biden slams president as ‘reckless’ for planning return to campaign trail; US leader hopes Saturday speech will help dispel lingering doubts about his health. (The Times of Israel) [link]

9th: Samuel L. Jackson joins Israeli filmmaker in docuseries on global slave trade: In ‘Enslaved,’ now streaming in the US and from October 11 in the UK, director Simcha Jacobovici gathers an all-star team to delve into the roots of an unmemorialized genocide. (The Times of Israel) [link]

9th: WHO: New one-day record as COVID-19 cases worldwide hit more than 350,000: New high surpasses record set earlier this week by nearly 12,000, with more than 109,000 of those cases coming from Europe alone. (The Times of Israel) [link]

9th: Officials fear violence on US Election Day. Some worry it could target Jews: Security experts say white supremacists prepared to take up arms in support of Trump’s re-election and could threaten Jewish institutions, including synagogues. (The Times of Israel) [link]

9th: White supremacist who called for attacks on Pittsburgh Jews released from prison: Hardy Lloyd urged social media users to ‘target’ Pennsylvania city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood; said assault weapon opponents should have their ‘families murdered’. (The Times of Israel) [link]

8th: 44 Percent of American Christians Believe the Bible Is ‘Ambiguous’ on Abortion: the Cultural Research Center of Arizona Christian University undertook a survey which discovered that more than 40% of American Christians believe that the Bible is ‘ambiguous’ when it comes to abortion. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

8th: COVID is harming sperm, Israeli researchers say, raising infertility worries: Reviewing studies worldwide, experts see a 50% drop in sperm’s quantity and ability to move in patients who had moderate or serious coronavirus. (The Times of Israel) [link]

8th: Trump Says Catching COVID-19 was a ‘Blessing from God’ because it Revealed New Treatment Options: The US President claimed that catching the virus was “a blessing in disguise” because through it he was able to reveal a very reliable treatment option. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

8th: Let us reopen church now,” says 295 Victorian Pastors, Australia: almost 300 church leaders have sent an open letter to the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew, urging the reopening of churches in Melbourne. (Eternity News) [link 1]

8th: Two team members from Bible Society of Cameroon were killed by Boko Haram: the two facilitators were part of Cameroon’s literacy program of the Bible Society were attacked and killed by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram, with numbers of the group increasing in recent months. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

7th: Netflix Indicted: Grand Jury Charges Company for ‘Lewd Exhibition’ of Children in Cuties: Netflix has been indicted for promoting “lewd visual material” for its depiction of children in the controversial movie “Cuties,” which has also lead to more than a million subscribers withdrawing their membership with Netflix. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

7th: Benjamin Watson Refutes Joe Biden’s Comment on Making Roe V. Wade ‘The Law of the Land’: Benjamin Watson, a former NFL player took offence of US Presidential nominee Joe Biden after he pledged to make Roe v. Wade law, that is the right for a women to have an abortion, ‘the law of the land.’ (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

7th: ‘Alarming’: 52 Percent of Evangelical Churchgoers Reject Absolute Moral Truth: A recent report says that three quarters of evangelical churchgoers believe that people are ‘basically good,’ whil just over 50% claim there’s no moral, absolute truth. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

7th: Christian sentenced to death for ‘blasphemy’ has been acquitted, Pakistan: six years ago Sawan Masiah, a 40 year old Christian father, was accused of blaspheming against Mohamed was released after evidence of prejudice. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

6th: Christians forced into a re-education training, Laos: three believers were taken away because they refused to leave their Christian faith. (Open Doors) [link 1]

6th: Christians forced into re-education training, Laos: three Christians were taken by authorities in the last month, after they refused to leave their faith. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

6th: ‘Don’t Be Afraid of COVID’: President Donald Trump Released from the Hospital: with less than one month before the Presidential elections, Trump was released from a medical centre after a stay of three days since being diagnosed with Covid-19. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

6th: Black Lives Matter Is a ‘Profoundly Theological Statement,’ Hillary Clinton Tells Pastor: Clinton’s new podcast “You and Me Both with Hillary Clinton,” aired a discussion between Pastor William J Barber II and Clinton about racism and justice. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

6th: Faith-Based Film I Still Believe Nominated for 2 People’s Choice Awards: ‘We Are So Pumped’: “I Still Believe” has been nominated for People’s Choice Awards in two categories. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

5th: ‘Fight for the Truth, Don’t Back Down’: Jim Caviezel Urges Christians to Fight for Their Religious Freedom: Actor Jim Caviezel said that Christians need to fight for the truth if they still want to be free to practice their faith. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

5th: Pastor and Wife Murdered in Their Home, Haiti: text (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

5th: Justices Thomas, Alito: Christians Aren’t Bigots for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage: a much-viewed case of religious freedom was turned down by the US Supreme Court, responding with a statement saying that religious liberty are protected explicitly in the First Amendment. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

5th: Rabbis, worshipers at Western Wall pray for Trump’s recovery from virus: Chief rabbis attend traditional priestly blessing service at Old City site as supplication made on behalf of US president stricken with coronavirus. (The Times of Israel) [link]

5th: US envoy Friedman: If Biden wins, it will be bad for Israel and Gulf on Iran: American ambassador tells Emirati website that Democrat nominee would undermine efforts of Trump administration to reverse nuclear deal. (The Times of Israel) [link]

5th: WHO: 10% of world population may have been infected with virus: Estimate is over 20 times higher than official tally of coronavirus cases; official warns ‘vast majority of the world remains at risk’. (The Times of Israel) [link]

3rd: 2 Gulf journalists describe harassment they faced for backing peace with Israel: in webinar, editor of UAE newspaper, head of Bahraini journalists’ association say they faced blowback for taking part in online forum with Israelis last month. (The Times of Israel) [link]

2nd: Satanic Temple Sues Advertising Company for Refusing to Display Billboards Claiming Abortion is a ‘Ritual’: a business which displays billboards is being sued by a Satanic Temple for refusing to display billboards which suggest that abortion is a ‘ritual.’ (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

2nd: Macron calls Islam a religion ‘in crisis,’ unveils plan to fight radicalism, France: the French President released a plan to ensure radical Islam will not overtake France’s secular values. (The Times of Israel) [link]

2nd: Paris kosher restaurant torn apart, vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti: Phrases spray painted on walls of Mac Queen include ‘Hitler was right,’ ‘Jews get out’ and ‘Free Palestine’. (The Times of Israel) [link]

2nd: 61 Percent of Evangelicals Plan to Vote for Donald Trump, Survey Finds: a new poll has revealed that only 20% of evangelicals would likely vote for Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

2nd: ‘Pray for the President’: Trump and First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19: on Thursday the US President revealed that he and Melania have contracted the coronavirus and will be recovering and in quarantine in the White House. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

2nd: Trump joins growing number of virus-infected world leaders : US president’s coronavirus diagnosis puts him on list with UK’s Boris Johnson, Brazil’s Bolsonaro and numerous others. (The Times of Israel) [link]

1st: Five serious COVID patients recover after experimental Israeli treatment: Enlivex Therapeutics says it administered its Allocetra therapy to severe and critical cases in Jerusalem hospital; all recovered completely, tested negative for coronavirus. (The Times of Israel) [link]

1st: Israeli vaccine candidate reportedly set to begin human trials next week: Shot developed by Defense Ministry’s Institute for Biological Research still far from wider phase 3 trials; Moderna says its vaccine will not be ready before US election. (The Times of Israel) [link]

1st: ‘I’m a Christian First and Republican Next’: Vice President Pence Makes Campaign Stop in Atlanta: during his campaign, Pence shared “I’m a Christian first and Republican next, in that order,” an quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 (Christian Headlines) [link 1]

1st: Netflix Loses 2.5 Million Subscribers over Cuties: due to Netflix’s promotion of their film “Cuties” in which young girls are seen posing and dancing suggestively, with one older girl showing her breast, more than 2.5 million subscribers cancelled their accounts with them. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

1st: Filmmaker to Make New Cinematic Audio Bible Featuring Hundreds of Voice Actors: Krzysztof Czeczot, a Polish film-maker and director is presently working with hundreds of voice actors to create an audio bible which will enable people to listen to the scriptures. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

SEPTEMBER 2020

30th: where the accusations against Ravi Zacharias come from: accusations began with three unnamed witnesses who it’s claimed spoke with ‘Friendly Banjo athiest’ Steven Baugham who has a Youtube blog. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

30th: It’s a new world record: the Bible in over 700 languages: around 80 percent of the world’s population now has access to a Bible in their own language, which is over 700 different languages. (Eternity News) [link 1]

30th: Pastor Carter Conlon Calls for Nationwide Prayer Meeting on 400th Anniversary of Pilgrim’s Covenant with God: Christians in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the US has called for a special prayer meeting after God called the church to interceded for the USA. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

30th: Poland’s President Walks in March for Life for First Time: President Andrzej Duda, a strong supporter for restricting abortions, joined pro-life supporters in the March for Life and Family.(Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

30th: School Policy That Let Children Change Genders without Parents’ Permission Is Blocked by Judge: a local school district policy which permits students to transition to another gender identity, without consulting parents or requesting their approval, was blacked by a court in Wisconsin, US. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

30th: Columbia students pass university’s first-ever Israel boycott referendum: Vote follows a federal complaint filed in December 2019 accusing the school of anti-Semitic discrimination. (The Times of Israel) [link]

30th: Scandinavian neo-Nazis circulate anti-Semitic flyers on Yom Kippur: Far-right extremists carried out coordinated campaign in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland on Jewish holy day, says World Jewish Congress (The Times of Israel) [link]

29th: Senate Bill Will Defund Schools Allowing Biological Boys to Participate in Girls’ Sports, US: a new Bill to stop biological males identifying as transgender females from competing in women’s sports, has been put forward by Senate Republicans. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

29th: Israel surpasses US in daily COVID-19 deaths per capita: Military task force also shows country ahead of many others in daily infections and positive test rate, as officials warn of continued lockdown. (The Times of Israel) [link]

29th: Pro-Choice Groups Blast Trump for Protecting Babies Who Survive Abortion: ‘Attack on Women’s Rights’: a Democratic representative and two major pro-choice groups criticize the US President’s order requiring medical personnel to protect babies who survive abortion. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

29th: Thousands in San Diego Come Together to Pray over the City: more than 3000 people from around 100 churches joined together to pray for teachers, city’s schools and the youth of San Diego. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

29th: 27 Christians still face danger after being released from prison: Eritrea: the Christians had been imprisoned for between four and sixteen years despite there being no trial, and after their release on bail, will still face persecution. (Open Doors) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

29th: Global loser: Israel’s sky-high infection rate almost 3 times any other in world: ‘I’m very worried,’ says doctor on front lines. As Jewish state gets attention for all the wrong reasons, stats expert says world should learn from Israel: Don’t make its mistakes. (The Times of Israel) [link]

29th: UN will ‘lose its right to exist’ if it doesn’t treat Israel fairly, envoy says Israel: international body must change its approach to the Jewish state if it wants to remain relevant. (The Times of Israel) [link]

29th: Saudi Arabia arrests 10 members of ‘terror cell’ with alleged ties to Iran: Sniper rifles and pistols said confiscated; three of the detainees received training from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, officials say. (The Times of Israel) [link]

29th: Over half a million sharks could be killed for COVID-19 vaccine, activists warn: Experts say at least 5 shots under development use squalene, a substance commercially produced from sharks; warn that it’s unsustainable, will endanger at-risk populations. (The Times of Israel) [link]

29th: regional churches to remain closed while cafes and bars open during the coronavirus restrictions in Victoria, Australia: while many other organisations, schools and sports have been allowed to reopen, regional churches have not. (Australian Christian Lobby) [link 1]

29th: Campaign to keep Christian chaplains in schools, Victoria, Australia: the Bill introduced in Victoria, will stop public schools from allowing Christian chaplain, denying students the rights of Christian students and those with spiritual concerns. (Australian Christian Lobby) [link 1]

28th: Illinois State University Coach Quits after Displaying ‘All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ’ Poster on His Office Door: after placing a sign on his door which read “All Lives Matter to Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ,” Kurt Beathard quit his position. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

28th: One million deaths and rising: Global coronavirus toll passes grim milestone: Half of humanity was under some kind of lockdown by April; since restrictions were eased, infection rates have soared again and WHO has warned toll could double. (The Times of Israel) [link]

28th: US man gets 30 years for IS plot to behead right-wing provocateur Pamela Geller: David Daoud Wright has already served 5 years for conspiring to kill conservative blogger who in 2015 organized a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest; original sentence overturned. (The Times of Israel) [link]

28th: Thousands of Christians, Leaders Intercede for America in Washington D.C.: two prayer events which were held in Washington DC were attended by tens of thousands of Christians who repented before God and prayed for their nation and for revival. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

26th: How and when will we know that a COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective?: Phase 3 vaccination trials are underway, and while results will likely not be available this fall, some candidates may be well vetted by the end of 2020, expert says. (The Times of Israel) [link]

26th: As virus surges, critics say UK hasn’t learned from mistakes: Experts say government’s insistence on going its own way, epitomized by Britain’s exit from the EU, has hobbled its COVID response, with testing system a key failure. (The Times of Israel) [link]

25th: Anne Lotz Graham says America Has ‘Shaken Its Fist’ in God’s Face, Calls for Repentance: the daughter of Rev Billy Graham, evangelist Anne Graham Lotz is calling the US to repentance due to the nation’s continuing rejection of God and moral decline. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

25th: SA Lower House stifles freedom, Australia: the bill which was passed forbids people from even silent prayer near abortion clinics, restricting fundamental freedom of Christians. (Australian Christian Lobby) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

25th: WHO warns 2 million virus deaths ‘very likely’ without collective action: As number of COVID-19 fatalities worldwide nears a million, senior official at global health body calls on countries to act to prevent current tally from doubling. (The Times of Israel) [link]

25th: Court Revives Case of Juror Who Was Dismissed from Jury for Praying for Guidance on Verdict, US: the appeal through the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case of the Christian who was dismissed after seeking guidance from the Holy Spirit, which contrasts with the juror’s earlier oath asking for God’s aid (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

25th: Only 2% of American Millennials Adhere to a Biblical Worldview, Study Finds: the study discovered that only 5^ of people in the USA believe in a biblical worldview, with Millennials at just 2%. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

24th: 17,000 Babies Have Survived Abortions Since Roe v. Wade, Abortion Survivors Network Founder Says: since the introduction of the rights for women to choose abortion 40 years ago, around 17,000 babies survived. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

24th: Aboriginal Pastors call Australian to a ‘solemn assembly:’ Australians are being ureged to take part in a “Solemn Assembly” which will focus on repentance and prayer. (Eternity news) [link 1]

24th: the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ is misused to exclude religion from the public square, AG Barr says, US: Attorney General William Barr presented a speech about the common misrepresentation of the phrase ‘separation of church and state,’ on Wednesday at the Annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

24th: ‘This is simply biblical:’ thousands of Christians gather for revival, Florida, USA: the “Let us Worship” tour has been held in two cities in Florida with prostitutes and drug addicts “running to the altar to be saved,” said Sean Feucht. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

24th: Stand against euthanasia today, Australia: an extreme bill considering legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia is being considered by the Tasmanian Parliament, and Christians are asked to take a stand. (Hope) [link 1]

24th: Fresh trial of Belgian euthanasia doctor has begun: euthanasia doctor Joris Van Hove was originally acquitted of the unlawful euthanasia death of a 38 years woman earlier in 2020. (Hope) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

24th: Who would sue a medical body for this? despite a clear vote of the successful candidate at the Royal College of General Practitioners, pro-euthanasia activists are taking the RCGP to court to force them to change their decision in the hopes of getting someone who supports their movement. (Hope) [link 1] [link 2]

24th: Doctors find the Gaffney Euthanasia Bill confusing and contradictory, Tasmania, Australia: the state’s peak medical body has spoken out against the contradictory and confusing nature of the proposed legislation, which the politicians should be taking into consideration as they vote for the controversial bill. (Hope) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

23rd: Saudi king warns UN of Iranian threat, backs US peace efforts in Middle East, Saudi Arabia: Salman castigates Iranian attempts to sow ‘chaos, extremism and religious fanaticism’; calls to disarm Hezbollah; stops short of directly endorsing Israel-UAE-Bahrain accords. (The Times of Israel) [link]

23rd: Cancer patients may have heightened COVID-fighting ability — Israeli scientists: Oncology patients’ weakened immune system can prevent body ‘overreacting’ to virus, say Haifa researchers; theory still to be tested, but already published in peer-reviewed journal. (The Times of Israel) [link]

23rd: Jim Caviezel Says The Passion of the Christ Sequel Might Be the Biggest Film in World History: Christian actor Jim Caviezel who portrayed Jesus in the huge hit “The Passion of the Christ” in 2004 is thrilled about the upcoming movie “The Passion of the Christ: Resurrection” and said that “it’s going to be the biggest film in world history.” (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

23rd: Kenosha Church remains unscathed after rioters burn block to the ground, Wisconsin, US: while violence escalated into riots after the death of George Flloyd, the Pastor of one church say that divine intervention saved the church from the rioters. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

23rd: ‘Merciful hand of God:’ Thai church celebrates baptism of over 1,400 people, Thailand: the Free in Jess Christ Church Association members celebrated the baptism of 1,435 people on the one day, larger than at previous times. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

23rd: World expert on Covid 19 shares what’s going on: Professor Raina MacIntyre responds to some of the important questions about Covid 19 (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2]

22nd: ‘Parents are waking up:’ school fires Christian worker for criticizing LGBT curriculum, UK: concerned about LGBT and sex education, a British woman was fired from her position at the Farmor’s School for speaking about it. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

22nd: Patricia Heaton warns Christians of incoming ‘onslaught’ of arrogance, ignorance following Trump’s SCOTUS pick, US: the ‘Everybody loves Raymond’ star warns of an anti-religious onslaught when the President announces a Supreme Court nominee. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

22nd: Boost to school ministry means more will hear the Good News, Australia: this year around 25,000 school students will hear the gospel through a campsite operated by Crusader Union of Australia. (Eternity News) [link 1]

22nd: Ethiopia – thousands displaced during protests: after extremists murdered of a well-known musician and activist, violence erupted and more than 9,000 people, a majority of whom were Christian have now been displaced. (Open Doors) [link 1]

22nd: World powers set to take the stage, virtually, at UN General Assembly: Trump expected to send strong message to China on virus, trade, and to tout deal brokered between Israel, UAE and Bahrain; Netanyahu to speak next week. (The Times of Israel) [link]

22nd: during protests, thousands of Christians have been displaced due to violence, Ethiopia: after violence erupted as a result of an activist, 9,000 people were displace, a majority of which are Christians. (Open Doors) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

22nd: American Sign Language Bible Translation Completed after 39 Years: it’s taken 39 years for the Bible to be fully translated into the American Sign Language. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

21st: American Gospel Producers Announce Upcoming Streaming Service, US: American Gospel Producers have announced that they will release their own streaming service featuring “biblically-centered teaching.” (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

21st: Scientists combat online anti-Semitism with artificial intelligence: Project seeks to fight radicalization online, will initially focus on Germany, France and the UK. (The Times of Israel) [link]

21st: Israeli virus cases per capita overtake US, deaths surpass global average: Jewish state has 2,115.1 cases per 100,000 people compared to America’s 2,079.9, according to latest Johns Hopkins data Jewish state has 2,115.1 cases per 100,000 people compared to America’s 2,079.9, according to latest Johns Hopkins data (The Times of Israel) [link]

21st: hearing is believing: audio Old Testament takes shape in Darwin, Australia: Audio recordings of an Australian language spoken by the First Nations people, have now been captured in audio recordings which include 177 chapters of the Old Testament (Eternity News) [link 1]

19th: 3 Holocaust monuments vandalized with swastikas in Ukraine and Russia: One message at former concentration camp warns Jewish Ukrainian leaders, including country’s president, that ‘the sale of Ukrainian land will quickly lead you to the Holocaust.’ (The Times of Israel) [link]

18th: Trump to launch ‘1776 Commission’ to ‘promote patriotic education’ in schools, US: a national commission will be established to promote ‘patriotic’ history in schools in the US to counter ‘propaganda’ that tells students to be ashamed of their country. (Christian Headlines) [link 1]

18th: Instagram adds in-app reporting tool to flag accounts that sexualise children, Australia: Collective Shout’s campaign #WakeUpInstagram has encouraged Instagram to get on board to stop the sexualisation of children. (Collective Shout) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

18th: Trump asked Nigeria’s Buhari – why are you killing Christians?: the President of Nigeria was asked by President Trump why they are indifferent to the plight of persecuted Christians in their country. (Eternity News) [link 1]

18th: Governor signs bill banning officials from closing houses of worship, Ohio, USA: Mike DeWine signed the new bill to stop public officials from closing churches during the pandemic. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

18th: the goal was to emphasize diversity: church apologizes for ad featuring Jesus with breasts, wearing makeup, Iceland: after promoting a cartoon advertisement which features Jesus in a white dress, with breasts and makeup, an Icelandic church apologized. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2]

17th: halfway there on the road to more Indigenous Bible translation, Australia: Indigenous students are halfway through completing a new course which teaches them how to translate the Bible better. (source) [link 1]

17th: Christian girls are being kidnapped at an alarming rate in Egypt: the Coptic Christian girls are being abducted and then sold into slavery, with Egyptian officials doing little to help them. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

17th: lifetime to release its first LGBTQ Christmas film, US: the film producer Lifetime has announced that one new Christmas movies will feature an LGBTQ theme. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

17th: US Department of Defense to implement guidelines to protect service members’ religious freedom: after hearing that chaplains and some military members were banned from attending a worship service, the new guidelines will ensure that their religious rights are protected. (Christian Headlines) [link 1]

17th: US researchers produce startling images of coronavirus-infected cells: Pictures from UNC School of Medicine illustrate the density of SARS-CoV-2 on human tissue, which contributes to its spread within individuals, and to others. (The Times of Israel) [link]

17th: Trump says Saudi Arabia among 7-9 countries expected to make peace with Israel: US president says he spoke with the Saudi king and normalization will come ‘at the right time,’ earlier said 5-6 more countries on path to formal ties with Israel. (The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Full text: Netanyahu’s address at signing of Israel-UAE-Bahrain peace accords: ‘Let us put all cynicism aside,’ urges Israel’s PM at the Abraham Accords ceremony. ‘Let us feel on this day the pulse of history.’(The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Five tropical cyclones are in the Atlantic at the same time for only the second time in history: the five systems are expected to impact various countries including the USA, Bermuda, and the Bahamas, and warnings of life-threatening storms surge and flash flooding have been forecast. (9News) [link 1]

16th: Study: More than one in 10 Americans under 40 thinks Jews caused the Holocaust: Holocaust knowledge is particularly low in New York, despite state having the largest population of Jews in the US. (The Times of Israel) [link]

16th: Kroger fires Christian employees who refused to wear LGBT rainbow, US suit says, USA: after two employees in an Arkansas Kroger store were fired for refusing to wear the LGBT-themed aprons, the lawsuit claims that the store violated federal an anti-discrimination law.(Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

16th: Netflix cancellations are 8 times higher than average following ‘Cuties’ backlash, USA: the programs which features 11 year old girls in a dance group focuses on the sexualisation, risqué costumes and ‘femininity’ of their dance, which large numbers of subscribers cancelling Netflix as a result. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

16th: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers:’ Christian leaders praise Trump for Israel-UAE peace deal: the leaders referred to the Bible after the historic peace deal was signed by Israel with two Arab Nationals. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

15th: the plans to ‘scuttle’ the annual Nativity Event in Perth: candidates for the city were overwhelmed with the number of people writing in asking them to keep it, Australia. (Australian Christian Lobby) [link 1]

15th: Sout Sudan – extremists kill and abduct church attendees: 20 Anglican church members were wounded and 23 killed when armed extremists stormed the church compound. (Open Doors) [link 1]

15th: Gaza flogged for rocket attack during White House peace bash: Gantz says incident a ‘reminder from our enemies that we must always be strong;’ Liberman: ‘While Bibi celebrates in Washington, Hamas celebrates in Ashdod and Ashkelon.’ (The Times of Israel) [link]

15th: Full text: Bahrain foreign minister’s speech at Abraham Accords signing ceremony: Abdullatif Al-Zayani tells White House crowd that agreements with Israel are a ‘historic step on the road for genuine and lasting peace’ across the region. (The Times of Israel) [link]

15th: title: Marking ‘dawn of new Middle East,’ Israel signs historic deals with UAE, Bahrain: Trump speaks of ‘changing course of history,’ Netanyahu hopes for end to Arab-Israeli conflict ‘once and for all,’ while Gulf FMs pledge commitment to Palestinian cause. (The Times of Israel) [link]

15th: Trump to preside over signing of historic Middle East deals at White House: the two historical deals between two Gulf nations and Israel will be presided over by President Trump at the White House. (Fox News) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

15th: ‘Boldly Defending Life’: Trump Admin. Expands Ban on Int’l Funding of Abortion: Plans were announced by the Trump administration to expand their policy on pro-life which forbids money from the US government to go towards international organisations who promote and/or perform abortions. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

15th: Calif. Governor Signs Bill Bringing Sentencing Equality for Adults Who Have Sex with Minors: Californian Governor Gavin Newsom has outraged elected officials by signing a new bill into law which expands judge’s discretion when deciding if an adult should be registered as a sex offender for having sex with minors which now includes anal or vaginal sex which was not included previously in law. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

14th: #CancelNetflix Trends on Twitter after Controversial Film Cuties Airs: after Netflix released the French film “Cuties” the hashtag #CancelNetflix was a trending topic on social media as a result of the film’s sexualised posing of young girls and dancing in a movie aimed at 11 year olds. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

14th: Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Rejects Pat Robertson’s Claim That the Movement Is ‘Trying to Destroy Christianity:’ after Pat Robertson’s said that the Black Lives Matter organisation is anti-Christian with Marxist ideologies, the BLM co-founder stated that Robertson’s statement was “completely inflammatory and dangerous.” (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

14th: Church Pays off $19 Million in Chicago Residents’ Medical Debt: a church in Chicago rasied more than $100,00 to help residents in the area meet medical debts. (Christian Headlines) [link 1] [link 2] [link 3]

12th: Aussie missionary in England caught up in LGBT row, UK: after a comment about a Cornwall pride event being cancelled, Josh Williamson, who is pasturing a Newquay church has been threatened with the church being burned down, and encouraged sexual orgies there, with the LGBT community demanding that he be deported back to Australia. (Eternity News) [link 1] [link 2]

Letters to our Counsellor Lou

Letters to our Counsellor Lou

Click here for the link to our Counsellor Lou’s response to letters and questions shared in previous issues of SPAG Magazine.

Please note that depending on the number of letters we receive,  we may not be able to respond to your letter. If you have an urgent or important issue, may we encourage you to seek help from a qualified counsellor or Pastor.

Submit your personal issue or question to Lou in the form below:

Promote Your Upcoming Event, Business or Product

Promote Your Upcoming Event, Business or Product

Promotions and advertising

~ Note: promotion of non-profit events or organisations is free. ~

If you have a business or organisation, an upcoming event, product etc that you would like to promote in our free international, inter-denominational, quarterly electronic magazine, please read the following details before submitting your enquiry, as we have some restrictions on what is permitted for inclusion in SPAG Magazine due to the nature and size of our publication.

General Information

1. SPAG Magazine is a Christian magazine, that is its focus, and its audience is likely to be Christian. While a business or organisation wishing to promote itself, a product or an event, does not have to be Christian-based, our policy when it comes to advertising, articles, promotions and other similar items is that any organisation or person who submits a request to sponsor or promote a business, organisation or event etc in SPAG Magazine or submits an article, photo or anything else for consideration, does so on the understanding and agreement that neither their business, their products, article or any type of promotion will conflict with our Bible-based Christian ethics and personal convictions nor shall it cause offence to Christians or their beliefs.

2. Overall advertising and promotion will be limited to no more than 25% of the magazine which may also impact upon the number of promotions which can be included in a particular issue.

3. Please submit  details at least one month prior to publication of SPAG Magazine. Publication dates are: 1 March; 1 June; 1 September; 1 December, or a minimum of 6 weeks if creative work is required.

4. If you have any queries, please contact Vicki Nunn direct on (+61) 042 44 33 772 or submit your enquiry via the form further down on this page, or email us at: SPAG Magazines Email Address2

Kinds of Advertising/Promotions in SPAG Magazine

1. Promotion of Non-Profit Events or Organisations:

Promotion of non-profit events or organisations is free, and dependent upon available space, time and relevance (see 1 above.) It may also be that larger or more relevant/current/newer events/organisations take precedence over others as space is limited. While we will do our best to incorporate information on your event/organisation, note that it may not always be possible to do so. Please note that this is not a reflection on your organisation or the event or item that you wish to promote.

2. Promotion/Sponsorship of Business or Product etc:

Costs for advertising in SPAG Magazine – link to details of advertising costs.

Applications for Advertising/Sponsorship (application form)

All applications for promotion or advertising, whether paid or unpaid, must include the completed and signed application form (linked here), otherwise fill out the following contact form to enquire further.

Advertising Costs SM

*Welcome to SPAG Magazine

*Welcome to SPAG Magazine

Welcome in wood Thanks for dropping by! 

Are you a Christian? Do you love God? Do you want to be encouraged, challenged or inspired in your Christian walk? Then you’ve come to the right place.

SPAG Magazine is a FREE quarterly, electronic magazine for Christian adults. While we have a focus on singles, our articles are suitable for all Christian adults. We’re an international, inter-denominational publication, and we aim to honour and exalt God. We believe that the Bible is God’s inerrant Word.

The updated issue 13 is now available!

The June/August 2018 issue of SPAG Magazine is finally here and what a great selection of articles there are in this issue.

Initially, we had a problem with our “Letters to Lou” pages, but they’re now all updated and uploaded to the online issues.

Our 13th issue of SPAG Magazine coincides with our 3rd birthday! We have a great bunch of fascinating articles which I’m sure will get your thinking, and hopefully bring you closer to God.

The articles in the issue include:
– Hate like Jesus;
– Domestic violence and the church (Part 2);
– God’s gift of life: NO to euthanasia;
– Road to Damascus;
– Open Doors: from muslim sheikh to secret believer;
– Josie and the gift of singleness;
– Creation Ministries: Cuttlefish colour changes inspire new TV screen design;
– Condemned to celibacy?
and lots more!

Following are the links to the current issue:

We’re celebrating our third birthday with a whopping 60% off all of our previous issues (until the end of August 2018) so you can catch up on all of our earlier great articles, and it’s an easy way you can also help support this important ministry. (Link to our store)

Time is running out for this offer: we’re offering 50% all promotions in our September/November 2018 issue. Find out more in our promotions/advertising page here. 

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Let us know if you would like to subscribe for your very own quarterly issue. Email us: 

Warm regards

From Vicki Nunn, Editor and the staff of SPAG Magazine

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Calling all singles!

 How Do You Respond to Those Dumb Comments?

How do you respond when other people make silly, annoying, rude or repetitive comments to you about being a single person? What kinds of things do they say? We had an article in the March/May issue of SPAG Magazine, sharing things that people have said to other Christian singles about their state of ‘unwedded bliss.’

If you’d like to share some of the comments said to you, please fill out the form on this page, or email us:

How do you like this humorous idea?

I’ll be doing a series of these images based around singleness, spinsterhood and bachelorhood to go into my personal shops, sometime in the near future.

I’ll put them on cups, shirts, cushions and other items.
If you like the idea, please let me know and I’ll redirect you to the shops where they’re located, once I upload them in my personal online stores.

Vicki Nunn
Editor

———————————————–

 

Becci and Robbo from the Rise and Show program on Vision FM interviewed me on 24 March about my near death experience, which I shared in an earlier issue of SPAG Magazine. Here’s a link to a copy of that interview:

Bridget Brenton from Christian Today wrote a fantastic review about an earlier issue of SPAG Magazine. You can find the review here.

AND FOR YOU: a FREE devotional booklet for one month:

We hope this book will bring you into a closer relationship with God through praise, prayer and worship.

Here’s the link to the downloadable pdf  (link here)

OR view the online ‘flippable version:

Praise To God Devotional Booklet No. 1

(Note: there may be some advertising on this third party website.)

SPAG Magazine is FREE – covering our costs is essential if we want to continue making this terrific magazine available at no cost to you and to all of our readers. Please prayerfully consider how you may help:

Or send along your friends to our shop.

You can also help us by submitting the following for our consideration:

  • your own article;

  • your scenery photograph for our back page;

  • your comments in response to an article or other item; and/or

  • your suggestion for a topic for us to consider.

One of the items available in our store is the gorgeous “Reflections” e-book which contains over 120 pages of beautiful photos and includes inspiring quotes and Bible verses to lift your spirits as well as to challenge you in your walk. Here’s the link to buy this lovely e-book through our shop. (At present it’s only available in flippable format to view on a third party website.)

Your purchase will help to support this ministry. Thank you for your kind consideration.

Join our Prayer Network Team

One of the most important things you can do for SPAG Magazine is pray for us. We need prayer to not only increase our readership, but to enable God to reach out to Christians and Christian leaders across the world, with articles which will encourage, inspire and challenge them.

We also need your prayers for enough finances to keep SPAG Magazine going.

If you’re interested in joining our prayer network, you can become a member on Facebook on this link.

Can 73¢ a day really help SPAG Magazine?

While we’ve recently overhauled some expenses to reduce costs, there are still lots of costs we need to cover to ensure we keep SPAG Magazine available and to provide it to you for free. Presently all outstanding costs are met by our Editor, Vicki Nunn who has a limited income on a disability pension. Yep, it’s almost like she pays you to read it.

Our total operating costs per quarter are around AU$662. If ten people could contribute just 73¢ a day for a year, all of our operating costs would be met. Would you consider being one of those ten people? (Perhaps you could ask nine people from your church or singles group to make up the remainder.)

73¢/day x 10 people/year = all operating costs*

Other costs:

There are also a couple of other costs as well including the Glasbergen cartoon and costs for promoting SPAG Magazine, which total around AU$100 per quarter. If ten people could contribute just 11¢ a day for a year, our remaining costs would be met.

11¢/day x 10 people/year = remaining costs*

Your generous contribution can make a big difference! You can also help by purchasing items from our online store: www.spagmag. com/shop.

Here are those 2 costs again:

73¢/day x 10 people/year = all operating costs*

11¢/day x 10 people/year = remaining costs*

Consider also that in the past 18 months or so we’ve spent $2,000 on a new computer and monitor as our old computer had been making strange noises for two years.

Would you make a commitment to help SPAG Magazine in its mission?

Our mission is to inspire, challenge and encourage Christian adults in their walk, and to honour and exalt God.

Email: 

* (NB: Wages for staff have not been included.)

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Warm regards

Vicki Nunn
Editor
SPAG Magazine


[Voice] The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.


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Believers Who Suffered Depression

Believers Who Suffered Depression

by Vicki Nunn (1 December 2016)

“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. It is the tear (that results) from the injury of the oyster. The treasure of our being in this world is also produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”

Stephan Hoeller

Introduction

Some Christians and churches claim that depression comes from demonic possession, or from sin, perhaps a curse, or because God is punishing us for a wrong-doing. As we discussed in the article “Can Christians Have a Mental Illness,” while on some occasions it may be the result of an ongoing sin, for most believers, depression doesn’t usually arise from these things.

We’ve looked at possible physical causes of depression as well as circumstances which may cause it. It can be the result of drug and alcohol abuse, physical injury or as part of an illness, as a side effect of certain medications, or as a consequence of physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse.

Seeking help for depression is not sinful, nor is taking anti-depressants. Getting over depression isn’t about “having more faith,” or “looking on the bright side,” or “just getting over it.” There is no pithy quote, Bible verse or inspirational saying that will snap us out of it. In fact, there are quite a number of Bible verses that speak about depression, and Bible characters who struggled with it.

Depression is not a new thing – it’s been around almost since day one!

One of the more important things we learned in that earlier article is that a good proportion of the population will experience depress-ion at some time in their life, and therefore it’s likely that many Christians will also go through it.

Being a Christian doesn’t automatically make us immune. Depression doesn’t mean that a person is lacking in spirituality or immature in their Christian walk. Do you need reassurance on that? Then hopefully this article will provide enough evidence to demonstrate that some of the strongest, most faithful believers have suffered depression – and God still loved them.

Depression

Normally in each issue of SPAG Magazine we endeavour to provide an article on one inspirational person. In conjunction with issue 7’s focus on depression and mental illness, we’re sharing a little about the lives of inspirational believers who suffered depression  – from the Bible, from history and also from the present day. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and I encourage you to find out more.

If you’ve ever suffered depression, it may ease your burden to know that profound Christian thinkers, passionate champions of the persecuted and down-trodden, God-inspired prophets, and those who reached great pinnacles of wisdom and strength in their Christian walk, have shared the trials and torments of depression with us.

If those with such resounding faith, profound knowledge and deep compassion can experience the same depths of sorrow, anguish, and moments of doubt; times when God seemed silent to their urgent, tortured pleas for help or for answers; then we, the more common, ordinary Christians are not alone – we aren’t wrong or broken or in need of deliverance. For some of us, it is part of the demanding journey of what it means to be a Christian.

It’s almost freeing to know that these exceptional Christians share such a bond with us. Perhaps it is those who have never known depression and those dark, tormented nights of the soul, who miss out on this distinctive experience. Perhaps we who have known depression, are the chosen ones who God deems worthy of undergoing such an ordeal. Perhaps our journey will be all the better for it.

As bizarre and unreasonable as it sounds, perhaps there’ll come a day when we’ll be able to look back and say “Thank you Lord.”

Whatever the circumstances, depression is very real, and can have a profound and long-lasting impact on us. Those who have never suffered depression cannot understand the terrible pain and suffering it causes.

Biblical Believers Who Suffered Depression

(a) Adam and Eve

While there is no Biblical evidence to confirm it, I imagine that both Adam and Eve suffered depression after they sinned and were cast out of the garden of Eden.

Having previously been so intimate with God, it must have been devastating for them to lose that close and loving relationship. No longer did they know that kindred closeness of spirit, soul and purpose. Adam and Eve knew without a doubt that they were no longer Holy – that purity of their holy relationship with God had ceased to exist.

I’ve heard hell described as the absolute and complete awareness of our aloneness and separation from God. Perhaps in a way, it was similar to how Adam and Eve felt.

Their daily lives of toil to grow food and to survive would have been a constant reminder of the repercussions of their sin, and their unending loss.

The consequences of their sin were later brought home to them, when their own son Cain killed his brother Abel.

(b) King David

There are more than three dozen examples of David’s experiences with depression which he shared in the Psalms. In Psalm 6:2-7 we read words that sound similar to what we might say when experiencing deep depression. Along with the anguish, his words seem to be touched with frustration and even anger:

“Show me grace, Eternal God. I am completely undone. Bring me back together, Eternal One. Mend my shattered bones. My soul is drowning in darkness. How long can You, the Eternal, let things go on like this?

Come back, Eternal One, and lead me to Your saving light. Rescue me because I know You are truly compassionate.

I’m alive for a reason – I can’t worship You if I’m dead. If I’m six feet under, how can I thank You?

I’m exhausted. I cannot even speak, my voice fading as sighs. Every day ends in the same place – lying in bed, covered in tears, my pillow wet with sorrow. My eyes burn, devoured with grief; they grow weak as I constantly watch for my enemies.” [Voice]

(c) Job

We can understand why Job would have suffered depression, after he lost all he had including his children and his wealth. While he must have grieved for his children, he was able to accept that loss was part of life – he’d come into the world with nothing, and would leave the world with nothing.

When Satan was allowed to afflict Job with a terrible illness that not only caused him awful physical pain, he also lost the affections and closeness of his wife, the comforts of his home, contact with friends and loved ones in his community, and was cast out of his home town because of his disease.

Here was a different sort of trauma to the losses he’d suffered earlier. This next step meant that he’d lost everything else including his dignity, his health, and his position within society – he was even mocked by low-life people because of how far he’d fallen from God’s grace.

Additionally, he was constantly in pain which would have affected every physical movement and would likely have plagued his sleep. Lack of sleep and relentless pain alone can cause depression, but the added losses and indignities would have piled up upon his already low spirits.

He’d lived a good life and had tried to be obedient to God. When he was suffering so terribly, he questioned God, demanding a response from Him about what he’d done to deserve such harsh treatment. Doesn’t that sound a lot like what most of us would probably do in Job’s situation?

We can almost hear the anger and perhaps even a little touch of rebuke in his voice in Job 6:8-10:

“If only my one request were answered, if only God would grant me the fulfilment of my only hope: That God would be willing to crush me, to kill me, that God would release His hand and cut me off.


At least then I would have a crumb of consolation, one source of joy in the midst of this relentless agony: I never denied the words of the Holy One in my pain.”
[Voice]

We can hardly blame or judge Job for feeling angry with God. In fact, that kind of a reaction has been around since the time of Cain and Abel, when Cain became angry upon God asking where his brother was.

We can still love God and feel angry and upset with Him. In fact, it really isn’t a surprising response when we’re obedient and go through difficulties and pain and don’t understand why we’re suffering.

Eventually God healed Job and restored his blessings including more children and wealth, and a long, healthy life.

For most of us though, restoration of good health, the return of our wealth, or a child or a partner to replace one we’ve lost, don’t usually happen, and our pain and suffering may remain with us.

(d) Elijah

Elijah was one of several people in the Bible who suffered depression. Here was a man that saw some incredible miracles including ravens sent by God to feed him when he was hungry; provision of food for himself, a widow and her son during a famine; and then Elijah raised the woman’s son from the dead after he passed away.

On another occasion he prayed to God to send fire down from heaven to burn up his sacrifice, to show His power to Baal’s prophets and to the Israelite people. The Israelites saw God’s power and were filled with fear, awe and wonder.

In the same chapter we read that he was able to supernaturally run faster than Ahab who’d left earlier in his chariot!

Despite all of those amazing miracles, he knew and trusted God, and yet Elijah sunk into a terrible depression, even seeking to die.

In 1 Kings 19:4 we read:

“He journeyed into the desert for one day and then decided to rest beneath the limbs of a broom tree. There he prayed that his life would be over quickly and that he would die there beneath the tree.

Elijah: I’m finished, Eternal One. Please end my life here and now, even though I have failed, and I am no better than my ancestors.” [Voice]

After he overcame his depression, Elijah continued in his work for God, and took on Elisha as his apprentice. Later, as his time on earth drew to a close we read in 2 Kings 2:11b:

“A blazing chariot pulled by blazing horses stormed down from the heavens and came between Elijah and Elisha. Then Elijah was swept up into heaven by the fiery storm.” [Voice]

God favoured Elijah so highly, that he took him straight up to heaven! Surely then we must consider that depression is no hindrance to being close to God, or for God to accept each of us completely, or for us to be able to do His work.

(e) Other Bible People

You may like to read about other Bible people who suffered depression, such as: Jeremiah; Hannah; Jonah; and Jesus.

The night before His crucifixion, Jesus spent time in prayer, His spirit in distress. While not necessarily depression, He was in extreme anguish so great, that he sweated drops of blood.)

Christians in History Who Suffered Depression

(a) C.S. Lewis

Most of us know Lewis’ work from his beloved Narnia series. Lewis, was a great Christian thinker who also wrote books on theology, and yet for such an intellectual who understood God so well, he suffered depression.

After his wife died of cancer, just three years after they married, he wrote of his experience, when he desired an answer or some kind of sign from God:

“…But go to Him when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence. You may as well turn away. The longer you wait, the more emphatic the silence will become.” (“A Grief Observed.”)

Lewis struggled to connect with God during his difficult days, to focus his heart and mind on God, just as many of us do. In his book, “A Grief Observed,” he said of his suffering:

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”

And when it seemed to him that God wasn’t responding:

“’Knock and it shall be opened.’ But does knocking mean hammering and kicking the door like a maniac?”

(b)  Mother Teresa

The compassionate and caring nun, Mother Teresa is often presented to the world as an iconic image of supreme Christian service, of one who was content in her work, faithful in her service and unwavering in her devotion to God.

There was also the Mother Teresa that few of us know, who suffered depression and struggled to find God, especially during periods of dark despair, but her soul hungered for Him even when she didn’t sense His presence.

In her book “Come Be My Light,” (edited by Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC) she said:

“I want to smile even at Jesus and so hide if possible the pain and the darkness of my soul even from Him.”

And later she wrote:

“With regard to the feeling of loneliness, of abandonment, of not being wanted, of darkness of the soul, it is a state well known by spiritual writers and directors of conscience. This is willed by God in order to attach us to Him alone, an antidote to our external activities, and also, like temptation, a way of keeping us humble in the midst of applauses, publicity, praises, appreciation, etc. and success.”

(c)  Other Christians in History Who Suffered Depression

Other well-known Christians who suffered depression included: Charles Dickens; Martin Luther; John Calvin; John Wesley; Handel; Emily Dickinson; Sir Isaac Newton; Charles Spurgeon; Pope Francis; Florence Nightingale; and many more.

Well-known Christians of Modern Times Who Suffered Depression

(a) Barbara Bush

The former first lady of the USA suffered terrible depression in the 1970s. According to a New York Times article, she sometimes had to stop her car on shoulders of the highway because she feared that:

“…she might deliberately crash the vehicle into a tree or an oncoming auto.”

(b) Joyce Meyer

Joyce was abused as a child which impacted on her emotional and mental development enormously, and led to her depression. In her article “Is it Really Possible to Beat Depression?”she said:

“I know what it’s like to be depressed. For many years I was unstable emotionally because of abuse that I experienced during most of my childhood. It caused me to be negative, critical, and easily discouraged. I used to believe that it was better not to expect anything good to happen to me because if nothing good happened, I wouldn’t be disappointed. But I was still miserable and had no peace.”

Joyce believes that we can allow depression to take hold of us, and that there are ways to stop it. She said:

“Depression begins with disappointment. When disappointment festers in our soul, it leads to discouragement.”

(c) Other Well-known Christians of Modern Times Who Have Suffered Depression

Jim Caviezel, the actor who played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of Christ” has suffered depression.

Others in this group include: John James (Newsboys); Sheila Walsh (singer and talk-show host); Tina Campbell (Mary Mary); Richard Smallwood (gospel music artist); Buzz Aldrin (astronaut); Lecrae (hip hop artist, record producer and actor); Kevin Sorbo (actor); Mel Gibson (actor, director and producer); and Ashley Judd (actor).

Conclusion

For each of us who suffer depression or other mental illnesses, our journey and our experiences may be different, but we are bonded together in a unified Christian experience.

We aren’t alone in our suffering. The similarities of our anguish, the deep depths of our depressions, the struggles of our condition, the unanswered, perplexing questions and even at times, silence from God show us by their similarity that God has found a way to stretch us and shape us, even sometime agonisingly, but purposefully into something more than we were before.

We may not see that we’ve changed for the better, or understand that the suffering that we bore began a transformation within us.

While in the midst of our struggles, sometimes we feel torn, broken, battered and weak with trembling, God isn’t unaware of the battle we are waging, He is not absent from us though His silence may make it seem that He is.

These troubling experiences and depression are another part of our journey. Perhaps we undergo this pain and suffering because there was something deep in us which God needed to change or to remove from us, which required such a forceful and intense experience.

When we take those final steps at the end of our human journey and find ourselves standing before God, instead of asking Him “Why?” our minds, hearts and soul will grasp it at last and we will say, “I understand.” [End]

 

————————
 

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.”

Elizabeth Wurtzel

————————

eye-with-tears-and-makeupsm

 

alone-sad-depressed-mansm

 

After Adam and Eve sinned, there were cast out of the garden of Eden, and realised their separation from God.

After Adam and Eve sinned, there were cast out of the garden of Eden, and realised their separation from God.

King David in prayer

King David in prayer

Job and his friends

Job and his friends

Elijah destroyed the messengers of Ahaziah by fire

Elijah calling down fire from God

Jeremiah in the ruins of Jerusalem

Jeremiah in the ruins of Jerusalem

Jesus and the crown of thorns

Jesus and the crown of thorns

Charles Spurgeon

Charles Spurgeon

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

John Calvin

John Calvin

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton

Handel

Handel

Florence Nightingale

Florence Nightingale

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa

Bibliography:

[Voice] The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.
Ekstrand, Dr DW, no date, The Transformed Soul “Dealing with Anger Toward God,” available: http://www.thetransformedsoul.com/additional-studies/spiritual-life-studies/dealing -with-anger-toward-god – accessed 04/11/16.
McDaniel, Debbie, 4 May 2016, Crosswalk.com “7 Bible Figures Who Struggled with Depression,” available: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/7-bible-figures-who-struggled-with-depression.html – accessed 04/11/16
No author, no date, A Christian Faith “Psalm 42 – Spiritual depression,” available: http://www. christianfaith.com/resources/psalm-42-spiritual-depression – accessed 04/11/16
No author, no date, Wikipedia, available: www.wikipedia.org – accessed 04/11/16
Borchard, Therese J, no date, Beyond Blue – A Spiritual Journey into Mental Health: “Mother Teresa: My Saint of Darkness and Hope,” available: http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/beyondblue/2007/08/mother-teresa-my-saint-of-dark.html – accessed 04/11/16
Justice, Jessilyn, 21/08/15, Charisma News: “When Famous Christians Suffer Public Depression,” available: http://www.charismanews.com/culture/51159-when-famous-christians-suffer-public-depression, accessed 04/11/16
Carey, Jesse, 9/12/14, Relevant: God – “7 Prominent Christian Thinkers Who Wrestled With Doubt,” available: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/7-prominent-christian-thinkers-who-wrestled-doubt”- accessed 04/11/16
Meyer, Joyce, 20/12/10, CP Living: “Is It Really Possible to Beat Depression?” available: http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-it-really-possible-to-beat-depression-48134/ accessed 04/11/16.
Skinner, Michael, no date, “Famous People With a Mental Health Concern/Illness,” available: http://www.mskinnermusic.com/home/advocacy-2/famous-people-mental-health-concern-illness/ accessed 04/11/16.
James, John, 2016, Full Gospel Businessmen’s Training: “John James,” available: http://www.fgbt.org/Testimonies/john-james.html accessed 04/11/16.
Heitzig, Skip, no date, Christianity Today “Journey Through Spiritual Depression,” available: http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2001/february-online-only/cln10214.html accessed 08/11/16
Kolodiejchuk, Brian, 4 September 2007 by Doubleday Religion “Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta”
Wines, Michael, September 8 1994, The New York Times: “In Memoir, Barbara Bush Recalls Private Trials of a Political Life,” available: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/09/08/us/in-memoir-barbara-bush-recalls-private-trials-of-a-political-life.html accessed 10/11/16
Lewis, C.S., Published April 21st 2015 by Harper San Francisco, “A Grief Observed,” accessed 09/11/16

Having Struggles?

Having Struggles?

Here are some articles which you may find helpful if you are going through struggles. We will continue adding to these as we share them in issues of SPAG Magazine. If you have an issue or a topic that you’d like us to cover in an upcoming issue, please let us know. You can complete the form at the end of this page, or email us at: 

Can Christians Have a Mental Illness?

Five Key Ways to Support a Friend (or Stranger) With a Chronic or Invisible Illness

Good Grief: Coping with Chronic Illness

Happiness Habits – Articles on Learning How to be Happy:

  1. Keep a happiness journal;

  2. Forgiveness and friendship;

  3. Difficult decisions;

  4. Friendship;

  5. Understanding yourself;

  6. Putting off procrastination;

  7. Derailing Depression (parts 1-3)

Believers Who Suffered Depression;

Let’s Talk About Sex;

  1. Introduction

  2. Purity (or the world is not enough);

  3. Masturbation and celibacy;

Where is the Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Why Do I have Trouble Making Friends?

Tell us what topic or article you would like us to share in a future issue of SPAG Magazine:

General Articles

General Articles

 Please contact us if you have any queries.

Humorous Articles

Humorous Articles

Being a single person can have it’s challenges, and sometimes the way we are treated or even ignored, can be very discouraging. With that in mind, we occasionally share a humorous article in SPAG Magazine. Here are the links:

Tell us what topic or article you would like us to share in a future issue of SPAG Magazine: