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Vietnam-LuisPalau

Vietnam invites to Luis Palau

By Charlie Boyd | Christian Post Reporter - Vietnamese pastors have invited globe-trotting evangelist Luis Palau to lead the first foreign mission to the country since the fall of Saigon in 1975.

The mission is planned for December, although formal permission has yet to be granted by the Vietnamese government.

The invitation was made as Palau met 500 church leaders from across Vietnam, as well as US diplomats and government officials.

The mission will follow the hugely popular format of Palau’s missions in other countries, where crowds have reached the tens of thousands. Live music and action sports demonstrations will form some of the highlights of the programme.

If the mission is approved, it will take place at a strategic time for Christianity in Vietnam, where the government has only recently given permission for Christian events to take place.

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Muslim Attack Injures 23 Coptic Christians

By Ethan Cole | Christian Post Reporter - Twenty-three Coptic Christians were injured by Muslim extremists Friday after an attack on a church community center, said an Egyptian Bishop.

The attack occurred after a sermon by a radical sheikh and lasted 10 hours before security forces put a stop to it, said Bishop Bejemy to The Associated Press on Saturday. The group of young Muslim men threw firebombs at the Coptic center and at nearby homes in Marsa Matruh, a seaport city in northern Egypt.

According to Egyptian officials, assailants were angry about a new fence erected around the center.

The attack on Copts in Marsa Matruh took place the same day the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom issued a statement condemning the Egyptian justice system for not prosecuting violence against Copts.

An Egyptian judge recently acquitted four Muslim men of the murder of a Coptic man. USCIRF called it “the latest example in a growing pattern of instances where individuals have not been brought to justice after committing violent acts against Christians and their property.”

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Christian Youths 'Cry Out' for Persecuted Believers

By Ethan Cole | Christian Post Reporter - Christian youths on Friday kicked off a time-zone crossing prayer chain for persecuted believers that began in New Zealand and will go around to about 50 countries.

The ninth annual SHOCKWAVE global prayer for the persecuted is scheduled to take place March 5-7. The prayer event is organized by the Underground, a youth and student ministry of Open Doors, an organization that supports persecuted believers worldwide.

“Shockwave is a movement of prayer that allows the passion of young people’s hearts to be heard by God as we cry out and join together across the world in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters,” said Scott Ahern, director of innovative strategies for Open Doors USA.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer different forms of persecution, including interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ. Millions more face discrimination and alienation.

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Evangelist Benny Hinn's Wife Files for Divorce

: CBN - The wife of evangelist Benny Hinn has filed for divorce from the high-profile pastor after more than 30 years of marriage.

Suzanne Hinn filed the papers in Orange County, Calif. on February 1 citing irreconcilable differences. The papers noted that the two separated on January 26.

"Pastor Benny Hinn and his immediate family were shocked and saddened to learn of this news without any previous notice," Benny Hinn Ministries said Thursday in a statement. Click here for the full statement.

"Although Pastor Hinn has faithfully endeavored to bring healing to their relationship, those efforts failed and were met with the petition for divorce that was filed without notice," the statement read.

The couple married in 1979 and have three daughters and a son. Church officials said the ministry covets the prayers and continued support of Pastor Hinn and his family as they walk through this difficult season.

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haiti-earthquake

3 Christians Killed Since Start of Iraqi Campaign Season

: By Aaron J. Leichman | Christian Post Reporter : - A gunman opened fire on two Christian university students in Iraq Tuesday, killing one and wounding the other.

According to initial reports, the gunman shot the Assyrian Christian youth after emerging from a car in the northern area of Mosul. The shooter later fled with two other men in the car.

A police officer, who asked not to be named, identified the slain and the wounded to Agence France-Presse as Zia Toma, a 21-year-old engineering student, and Ramsin Shmael, a 22-year-old pharmacy student, respectively.

"The area has been sealed off, and an investigation has been launched," the officer added.

Tuesday’s attack follows two other ones in as many days. Armed assailants killed Rayan Salem Elias, a Chaldean Christian, outside his home on Sunday, and drive-by shooter gunned down Fatukhi Munir, an Assyrian Catholic, inside his fruits and vegetables shop late Monday.

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Prayers and fasting mark Haiti quake's one-month anniversary

: by Charlie Boyd | ChristianToday : - Haitians are to fast and take part in prayer vigils to mark one month since a huge earthquake struck on January 12, reports the BBC.

As the Haiti government revised the death toll from last month's earthquake to at least 217,000, Friday has been declared a day of mourning.

According to the results of a new World Vision survey, 92 per cent of survivors in devastated capital Port-au-Prince have lost a loved one.

The survey asked the experiences of 150 people across three sites in Port-au-Prince where it is aiding survivors.

Of those surveyed, 49 per cent said they had lost an extended family member, while 43 per cent had lost a member of their immediate family.

The Christian aid agency said the quake response needed to deal with more than just the material needs of survivors and help them come to terms with their grief.

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Ringo-Starr

Ex-Beatle Ringo Starr: 'God is in My Life'

:By Kevin P. Donovan | Christian Post Reporter: - Former Beatles member Ringo Starr says he’s been on a search for God for the past five decades – though there were many years when he “stepped off the path.”

And now, at the age of 69, he says God is in his life.

"I feel the older I get, the more I'm learning to handle life," Starr told The Los Angeles Times during a recent visit to the Grammy Museum in downtown LA.

"I think [spiritual issues] are more prominent," added Starr, who turns 70 in July and recently released a new album, titled Y Not.

And some of the conclusions he’s drawn so far from having been on the “quest for a long time” are that “it’s all about finding yourself” and that “God is in my life.”

“I don't hide from that,” he said regarding his latter realization.

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crystal-cathedral

$8M Revenue Drop Forces Crystal Cathedral to Make Deep Cuts

:By Joshua A. Goldberg | Christian Post Reporter: - Southern California’s famed Crystal Cathedral is making “cuts to the heart of our ministry” following a 27 percent drop in revenue – from $30 million in 2008 to $22 million in 2009 – and with a drop in this year’s revenue anticipated.

In an announcement Friday, the Garden Grove, Calif.-based megachurch announced that its San Juan Capistrano location would shut down its operations following a decision by Crystal Cathedral Ministries’ International Board of Trustees.

That same day, the church said it was canceling its annual “Glory of Easter” pageant, the renowned live stage production that the church has presented every year for nearly three decades.

The church’s founder, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, said it was "with great sadness that the Board of Directors of the Crystal Cathedral Ministries announces that after long prayer and deliberation, the Ministry through the 2010 Glory of Easter production will not be held due to severe economic downturn.”

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Christian-Muslims-Jewish

Christians, Muslims, Jews Worship at Evangelical Megachurch

By Lillian Kwon|Christian Post Reporter - It was an unusual Sunday morning worship at Northwood Church in Keller, Texas. Christians, Muslims and Jews sat together in the megachurch to hear an evangelical pastor preach about Jesus.

The three faith groups had already visited the Islamic Center of Irving the previous day and the Temple Shalom of North Dallas on Friday before congregating inside the Christian house of worship. And they don't plan to make this a one-time event.

As Northwood Senior Pastor Bob Roberts said Sunday, the three groups are making an attempt to get to know one another, understand the different teachings and worldviews, and become friends.

While such multifaith worship gatherings have raised eyebrows, Roberts said they are not trying to minimize differences or compromise their beliefs. In fact, the evangelical pastor discourages it. He wants all three faith groups to be honest about their differences and hold to their core convictions.

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Nigeria Muslim-Christian

Nigeria Muslim-Christian clash kills over 40 people

by Ethan Cole | Christian Post - More than 40 people were killed in a Muslim-Christian clash this past weekend in a central Nigerian city with a history of volatile relations between the two faith communities.

In Jos city, Plateau state, about 200 Muslim youths attacked Christians near St Michael’s Catholic Church, according to local sources of Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The human rights organization reported that Muslim youths congregated to renovate a house next to St. Michael’s Catholic Church, owned by a man who allegedly killed three Christians in the November 2008 sectarian violence in Jos.

But instead of renovating, the youths reportedly assaulted a female passerby before attacking St Michael’s Church. They also set fire to several churches, including a Christ Apostolic Church and two Evangelical Church of West Africa churches, as well as local houses and businesses.

In retaliation, Christian youths launched a counter-attack, including lighting mosques on fire, and soon violence spread to other areas of Jos.

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