A Christian community prays for the return of the bodies of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt.Oron Shaul. (Credit: TPS)
Thousands of Christians around the world prayed on Sunday, September 23 in congregations, churches, communities, and organizations for the return of Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt.Oron Shaul – the IDF soldiers killed and abducted by Hamas during a humanitarian ceasefire on August 1, 2014, in the midst of Operation Protective Edge.
The international initiative has been promoted by the Goldin family that sent a petition in August to several Christian churches and organizations from various denominations around the world asking them to join the initiative ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting set for Tuesday, September 25.
The prayer began in Australia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and India, continued to Israel, Africa, Europe and ended in the United States, Costa Rica and Brazil.
In Israel, prayers were held at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, in a church in the Christian village of Fassuta in the Galilee and in the Greek Orthodox Church in Capernaum – the biblical village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Also at the Christ Church in Jerusalem, close to Jaffa Gate in the Old City, Pastor David Pilgi led four prayers during the day in Hebrew and English in front of a sukkah that opened in the church.
According to Amit Barak, a consultant on relations between Israel and Christian world, the initiative was born out of the importance of the Christian world, as well as of the recognition that their influence in several countries is increasing
“Christians undoubtedly have an influence. Solidarity and human action have an important place in Christian theology, and the Christian world.” Barak told TPS.
“After the initial appeal was sent out we issued another appeal and every day [since] we have received requests from churches and other organizations who have continued to join, as well as requests from individual Christians,” he said.
Barak added that “Churches and organizations from Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Israel, Kenya, South Africa, Taiwan, Ghana, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Costa Rica, Brazil and more joined the pray as well as private individuals and families from Australia, New Zealand, France, Guatemala, Holland and other countries.”
A church in Houston, Texas (USA) dedicated two trees in a memorial to Goldin and Oron, and a Christian organization in Germany held the prayer throughout Sunday singing verses from the Psalms (in German).
“We even received pictures and videos from believers and churches who did not inform us in advance,“ Barak said.
The first to join the initiative, Pastor Becky Keenan of the Gulf Meadows Church in Houston, Texas, said: “There are certain human conventions that are universal. The return of the bodies of those who fell after an armed conflict is one such moral act. The families deserve to give a proper burial of their loved ones. To hold back their remains for political manipulation is very obscene. We strongly support the International Day of Prayer and encourage decision-makers to quickly return Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.”
Pastor Kent Lerher of the Deerfield Presbyterian Church, New Jersey, said: “We were happy to join the prayers for Oron and Hadar. It would be great joy and relief if the effort of this prayer would bring a solution to the heartbreaking situation of the families.”
Michael Dirks, chairman of Friends of Israel Christians in Northern Germany said: “We have to stand by Israel in full solidarity. In word and deed, and of course in prayer. That is why we call upon all of Israel’s friends in northern Germany to join forces in prayer on September 23.”
Carmielin Ashkar and Elias Zarina of the Brit Achim Association and the Jerusalem Initiative added: “As Israeli Christians who encourage the recruitment of Christians and their integration into Israeli society, we saw great importance in joining the initiative together with our Christian brothers and sisters from all over the world.”
(Photo: Aish.com / YouTube)
Despite advances in modern medicine, China is setting up roadblocks to cope with an outbreak of an ancient plague that once wiped out one-third of the world’s population and may have been one of the plagues that God used to strike Egypt.
Chinese officials installed temperature scanners at airports and checkpoints on main roads in an attempt to stop the spread of Bubonic plague as a fourth case was discovered in less than three weeks. A program to exterminate rats and fleas, which carry the disease, was also launched in Inner Mongolia where the disease seems to be originating.
Demonstrators gather in solidarity with anti-regime protests in Iran outside the Iranian Embassy in Helsinki, Finland. Photo: Reuters / Lehtikuva / Heikki Saukkomaa.
Four human rights lawyers currently imprisoned by the Iranian regime have been awarded with the annual prize of Europe’s most prestigious lawyers’ association.
The Iranian lawyers received the 2019 Human Rights Award from The Council of Bars and Law Societies Of Europe (CCBE) — a body that represents the bars and law societies of 45 countries and through them more than 1 million European lawyers.
The University of Bristol campus. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
The University of Bristol in England has adopted “in full” the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, the school’s Epigram independent student newspaper reported on Monday.
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) and Bristol’s Jewish Society (J-Soc) welcomed the move, saying, “The University of Bristol has not been free of antisemitic incidents and the adoption of this definition is an important first step in helping the university tackle anti-Jewish racism. We now expect the university to use this definition in outstanding disciplinary cases.”
Pope Francis Meets Thailand’s Buddhist Patriarch in Golden Temple (screenshot)
Pope Francis topped off his three-day visit to Thailand last Saturday with a meeting with Thailand’s supreme Buddhist patriarch Somdej Phra Maha Muneewong at Bangkok’s Ratchabophit Temple. The meeting took place in front of a 150-year-old gold statue of Buddha. The Pope followed Buddhist custom by removing his shoes.
During the meeting, the Pope gave the Buddhist Patriarch the Declaration on Human Brotherhood. The Declaration s a joint statement signed by Pope Francis of the Catholic Church and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, last February in Abu Dhabi. The Pope met with the Imam last month to reinforce the Declaration.
An Israeli company says it is using space travel technology to help solve one of the most pressing problems down on Earth — the reliance on diesel fuel, a major source of pollution.
Israeli startup GenCell has developed an electric generator based on a hydrogen-energy technology used to power some of the most-famous space missions in history.
Feb 02, 2020 0The remarks from the US official came in wake of the Palestinian decision to reject the administration’s peace plan. US PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrive to...
On January 18, a Shia Muslim rebel group launched a terror attack that claimed the lives of 111 in Yemen.
Days earlier, a Pakistani general captured popular sentiment whenever Muslims kill fellow Muslims by saying “Those who targeted innocents [Muslims] in a mosque can never be true Muslim[s].”
Such is the nature of one of the greatest claims that Islamic terrorism is much more politically than religiously driven. Thus, after another terrorist attack claimed the lives of Muslims in Bangladesh in 2016, it prime minister,
Sheikh Hasina, declared that “Anyone who believes in religion cannot do such act. They do not have any religion, their only religion is terrorism.”
Having predicted last year that a recession would begin in the summer of 2019 and that it would likely start with a major repo crisis, I am now proven wrong by 2019’s fourth-quarter GDP. If the repo crisis that started in the final week of summer had actually been the start of a recession, we would have seen fourth-quarter GDP go negative. Instead, it came in at 2.1% growth.
I find that an interesting number because third-quarter GDP also came in at 2.1% growth, and second-quarter GDP came in at 2.0% growth. Now fourth-quarter GDP came in exactly at 2.1% growth. Coincidence or goal-seeking? Notice the numbers are “seasonally adjusted,” and think about how many assumptions are made in seasonal adjustments.
The effort to impeach and remove President Donald Trump from office has produced many losers and few winners. The drama of the trial in the U.S. Senate is must-see TV for political junkies, but it has also been dispiriting viewing for Americans of all political stripes.
Few issues have divided the country more starkly than the question of whether or not the president should be removed from office. The arguments from both sides of the spectrum and their lawyers, as well as from the talking heads on television, have not worked to change any minds from their original political positions.
Last week, President Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited Middle East peace plan. Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his electoral opponent Blue and White leader Benny Gantz were at the White House for the announcement. So were a bunch of international diplomats, including three from Arab nations. The Palestinians refused to attend and rejected the plan sight-unseen.
Anyone surveying the history of Israeli-Palestinian relations already knows that the Palestinians’ goal is the eradication of Israel. The difference in the new U.S. plan, however, is that the initial major steps in its implementation can be taken unilaterally by Israel, even with no Palestinian participation
The U.S. “Peace to Prosperity” plan presented by President Donald Trump last week proposes unprecedented criteria for the formation of a Palestinian state. Among them is this one: “The Palestinians shall have ended all programs, including school curricula and textbooks, that serve to incite or promote hatred or antagonism towards its neighbors, or which compensate or incentivize criminal or violent activity.”
The context of this directive cannot be ignored; our 20 years of research show that the PLO has transformed Palestinian schools into a tool of war against Israel.