Promises Made – Promises Kept

President Trump made good on another campaign promise and moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Click onto the link below to watch the video and learn how experts and analysts are reacting about how this move affects the peace process and peace in the region. Thus far, Guatemala, Paraguay, Honduras and Romania will follow the United States in moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

 

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The Connection Between Worldwide Religious Freedom And National Security

President Donald Trump was faithful to his word by signing an executive order protecting our First Freedom. May 4th of this year marks the one-year anniversary of President Trump issuing his Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty—an achievement that has had a tangible impact on the protection and priority of religious freedom throughout the executive branch over the past twelve months.


Now is the time to engage in the issue of religious freedom because it's in our own interest to do so. We finally have the personnel in place to understand and promote this religious freedom worldwide. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has just been confirmed, following the earlier confirmation of Sam Brownback as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Combine that with this president's increasing focus on the issue, and we have a recipe for global success.
 
Now that our government is ready to be engaged on this, what should we do? Our foreign policy professionals have to start by embracing religion as an area of engagement. They've been trained to stay away from it as a "problem" area, but this is the wrong approach. To address the many issues around the world right now, not least of which is radical Islam, we need engagement from within those communities, including from within Muslim communities.
 
And how do you engage religious leaders on the cause of religious freedom if you're not engaging with them at all?

Religious freedom is often dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and for this reason, many foreign policy professionals don't see it as central to their work. But there is an overwhelming correlation between nations which are threats to the United States and nations which violate religious freedom. In light of this, one would think foreign policy professionals would see why they need to understand religion.

Unfortunately, they are trained to think religion is toxic, and we have thus failed to engage on it. Even the nonpartisan Center for Security and International Studies points out our failure in this area. Those who want to brush off religious engagement are aided by courts interpreting the Establishment Clause in an unrealistic and improper manner -- to exclude religious engagement by our government.

All of this, unfortunately, works only to our detriment because if we don't engage religious communities, we can't build conditions for religious freedom.


Source: Family Research Council

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6 WAYS TO PRAY FOR AMERICA

By Dr.  Ronnie Floyd, President, National Day of Prayer

This year is the 30th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer, which takes place on Thursday (May 3). Many of us pray for America on a regular basis, but each time this year, we are able to join together across the nation and pray together in unity.

Whether you are joining a prayer gathering for the event today or praying on your own throughout the year, here are some effective ways you can pray for America.


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A Loud Wake-up Call For All Of Us!

California and Maine State Legislatures are in the process of passing bills that could effectively trample religious liberty, free speech, and the rights of conscience, as well as potentially ban the Bible!

This sobering reality should be a loud wake-up call for all of us! As we share this disturbing news, the California bill has already moved through the General Assembly and is now being fast-tracked for debate and a vote in the California Senate.

The California bill (AB 2943) proposes to make it unlawful to advertise or sell products or services related to sexual orientation change efforts.Licensed counselors, including pastors, could be penalized for offering counseling according to a Biblical worldview to anyone struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This bill may eventually have a far-reaching impact on businesses, universities, churches, speakers, counselors, ministry organizations, and more. "It could ban speakers who advocate for a traditional or biblical view of marriage and human sexuality," noted Monica Burke with the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation in an article for the Daily Signal. They could punish bookstores that sell "goods," including the Bible, because they contradict the state's views.

Who else is in the crosshairs? Churches could be prohibited from holding conferences on sexual purity if avoiding homosexual behavior is encouraged. Pastors and conference speakers could be banned or penalized if they teach according to a biblical worldview on marriage.

The Maine bill has similar potential to impede our religious freedom rights. The language in this bill (LD 912) is so broad that without the passage of the Austin Amendment, those considered to be "certain professionals licensed under the Maine Revised Statutes" could be penalized for counseling according to a Biblical worldview.

This legislation is being pushed by one group of anti-God citizens (including legislators) threatening the religious liberties and free speech of another group simply because they have a different set of values and beliefs.

Will you join us in sharing this article, as well as using these well-crafted talking points in your sphere of influence? If you are a resident of California or Maine, or another state that is considering a version of this bill, call your state representatives or Governor. A few minutes of your day could change the course of the nation.

We live in a day where the very notion of reality has eroded to the point that extreme pluralistic bias is the normal basis for truth and the engagement of truth claims. Even the ability to debate is undermined by pluralistic sensitivity. In short, it is an age in which—more than ever—evangelical Christians need to be clear on the authority, inerrancy and sufficiency of the Bible.

Source: Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation
 
This is a day to be the salt and light Jesus commanded to His disciples. Exercise your duty as a citizen and pray for such evil to be restrained (2 Thes. 2:7). Pray for Reformation to catch fire in America!

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Religious Freedom Panel Releases Annual Report

A bipartisan U.S. government commission that monitors religious freedom around the globe has released an annual report that names the countries where freedom of religion is endangered or non-existent.


The report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF, covers 28 countries, focusing on the worst nations in the world for religious freedom and highlighting improvements in those places as well.

USCIRF recommends to the State Department 16 nations for designation as Countries of Particular Concern: Burma, Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

In a conference call with reporters, USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark says one recommendation from the commission is to press for the "unconditional release" of religious prisoners, using U.S. visa requests and asset freezes to put pressure on officials in those countries.
 
Mark says governments can be held accountable not just for what they are actively doing to violate religious freedom but also by tolerating severe violations of religious freedom by private actors such as ISIS, the Taliban, and al-Shabaab.
 
Click onto the World Prayer Map to pray for Persecuted Christians
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