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Will US Record Nigeria Once more After Newest Non secular Freedom File? | Information & Reporting – ChristianityToday.com

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Nigeria—and a couple of different countries—are on alert.
The United States Division of State launched its 2021 annual document on global non secular freedom (IRF) closing week, describing prerequisites in just about 200 countries. Handing over remarks from the Benjamin Franklin room—the place US ambassadors are sworn into carrier—Secretary of State Antony Blinken introduced a litany of well known offenders.
China, he mentioned, continues its genocide towards Uighur Muslims.
Saudi Arabia makes unlawful the apply of any religion but even so Islam.
Pakistan sentences other folks to demise for blasphemy.
And Eritrea calls for renunciation of religion to unencumber the arrested individuals of non secular minorities.
“Admire for non secular freedom isn’t handiest one of the crucial private held values and a elementary proper,” Blinken said. “It’s additionally, from my viewpoint, an important international coverage precedence.”
Ultimate November, those 4 countries had been a number of the 10 Blinken designated as nations of explicit fear (CPC). A separate particular watch listing (SWL) indexed 4 extra: Algeria, Comoros, Cuba, and Nicaragua.
However 3 days after the IRF document unencumber, a terrorist assault in Nigeria highlighted its omission. Dozens of Christians had been gunned down in a Catholic church on Pentecost Sunday. And one month previous, a Christian faculty scholar used to be murdered by way of a mob over her alleged blasphemy towards Islam.
Again in April, the impartial US Fee on World Non secular Freedom (USCIRF) launched its personal listing of nonbinding CPC suggestions, reminding Blinken it used to be “appalled” on the omission of Nigeria.
After checklist Africa’s maximum populous country as a CPC for the primary time in 2020, the State Division got rid of Nigeria’s stigma solely in 2021, now not even downgrading the country to SWL standing.
Just lately appointed USCIRF commissioner David Curry expressed his unhappiness.
“The Nigerian executive is obviously in violation of global regulation in that they have got grievously allowed all of the northern area in their nation to be a no-go zone for Christians,” mentioned the CEO of Open Doorways USA, urging President Joe Biden to do so.
“Governments wish to know that they received’t have industry as same old with the USA so long as they’re perpetrating or permitting the brutal persecution of Christians and people of religion.”
Nigeria is ranked No. 7 on Open Doorways’ annual Global Watch Record (WWL) of countries the place it’s toughest to be a Christian.
Right through the June 2 unencumber, Blinken did name out considered one of USCIRF’s 5 CPC suggestions a number of the above pariahs. In Afghanistan, non secular freedom prerequisites have deteriorated impulsively underneath the Taliban, he mentioned, whilst the native ISIS department increasingly more goals non secular minorities, particularly the Shiite Hazara.
Most likely aware of USCIRF’s different CPC suggestions, he cited 3 extra countries the place non secular freedom is “underneath risk”:
Blinken presented no feedback on Syria, USCIRF’s final advice.
Rashad Hussain, the primary Muslim to function US ambassador-at-large for global non secular freedom, specified “Christians” as the ones underneath risk in Nigeria.
He additionally cited North Korea and Saudi Arabia for abuse, with Nicaragua in charge of oppressing Catholics. Appointed closing December, Hussain known further non secular teams dealing with persecution: Jews in Europe, Bahá’ís in Iran, and Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
Russia used to be added as a CPC closing yr; USCIRF had advisable it since 2017.
Hussain lauded the two,000-page IRF document as in line with The us’s founding as a country by way of folks fleeing non secular persecution. It “offers voice” to these nowadays who’re “killed, overwhelmed, threatened, confused, or jailed” merely for exercising their ideals in keeping with judgment of right and wrong.
“America will proceed to face for many who are oppressed everywhere the arena,” he promised. “Faith may also be one of these robust power for just right, and it must by no means be used to hurt other folks.”
Hussain known 3 topics on this yr’s IRF document. First, too many governments abuse their very own other folks, he mentioned. 2d, social intolerance—steadily fueled by way of social media—is leading to larger antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and xenophobia.
But 3rd, there are robust indicators of collaboration on non secular freedom—between governments, civil society, and spiritual leaders. He discussed his personal paintings with the 2016 Marrakesh Declaration, putting forward the rights of Christians in Muslim-majority countries and the 2011 Istanbul Procedure, which rejects the criminalization of blasphemy.
“We now have extra companions on this effort now than ever earlier than,” Hussain mentioned.
In 1998, the USA Congress used to be the primary country to mandate issuance of an annual non secular freedom document, Blinken mentioned. These days he counts 35 executive and multilateral organizations devoted to the similar function.
He additionally highlighted good fortune tales:
Would possibly Nigeria and Afghanistan be lauded subsequent yr—or indexed as CPCs by way of yr’s finish?
“America will proceed to get up for non secular freedom world wide,” mentioned Blinken. “At its core, our paintings is set making sure that every one other folks have the liberty to pursue the non secular custom that almost all provides which means to their time on Earth.”
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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

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The Friend Who Sticks Closer than a Brother

Embracing True Friendship: The Friend Who Sticks Closer Than a Brother

Friendship is a valuable asset that enriches our lives by providing companionship, support, and a shoulder to cry on. But have you ever had a buddy who goes above and beyond—someone who remains closer than a brother? In a world where relationships can be fickle, a friend who sticks by us through thick and thin is a rare and priceless gift.

More Than Just Blood Ties

Consider the tie between siblings, which is based on blood and shared history. Consider a buddy who is more than just a family member. “One who has untrustworthy friends soon comes to ruin,” says Proverbs 18:24 (NIV), “but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

This verse describes a friendship that goes beyond basic conditions. It’s a bond founded on trust, loyalty, and real concern for one another.

Continuous Support

Consider a buddy who is present not only during happy times but also during difficult times. This type of friend is unconcerned about changing circumstances or personal gain. They provide their presence, encouragement, and steadfast support.

Jesus expresses the core of such friendship in John 15:13 (NIV): “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This selfless affection serves as the foundation for a lasting connection.

Journeys Together

Consider a friend you’ve shared many stages of life with—the highs, the lows, and everything in between. This shared experience forges a link that extends beyond surface-level exchanges. The value of companionship is brilliantly captured in Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 (NIV): “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”

A friend who sticks closer than a brother is someone who goes beside us through life’s ups and downs, lending a solid hand and an ear to listen.

A Mirror of God’s Love

As a symbol of God’s love for us, consider the buddy who sticks closer than a brother. God Himself offers an unbroken, unchanging, and everlasting companionship. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord,” says the Bible in Romans 8:38–39.

God’s love is the ultimate paradigm of true friendship—a love that is not conditional but remains faithful regardless of what happens.

Conclusion: Value true friendship.

A friend who sticks closer to you than a sibling is a treasure to be treasured. This type of friendship is founded on love, trust, and mutual care rather than convenience or shared interests. May we seek to be that sort of friend to others in our lives, just as God offers us His unfailing love.

In a world where relationships can be fleeting, let us create friendships that will endure. Let us be the sort of friends who are present in both joy and sadness, who offer unconditional support, and who mirror God’s unfailing love. We are reminded of the beauty of true friendship, which clings closer than a brother, as we welcome and cherish these unique and valuable ties.

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The Just God

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The Just God

The Just God: The Divine Balance of Justice and Mercy

The concept of justice is intertwined with the fabric of human society. We seek justice, responsibility, and reparation for wrongs done. But have you ever pondered a God who is not only just but also perfectly just? The Just God is a lighthouse of truth and righteousness, providing a profound awareness of justice and kindness that transcends human comprehension.

Justice in Pursuit

Consider a world where wrongdoers go unpunished and the disadvantaged have no recourse. The pursuit of justice is a natural human goal that reflects a feeling of rightness and order. And if we as humans value justice, how much more should the Creator of the universe, who is completely just?

According to Deuteronomy 32:4 (NIV), “He is the rock; his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. He is a loyal God who does no wrong, who is straight and just. This verse reveals God’s character, which is characterized by unwavering justice.

Justice and Mercy in Balance

Consider yourself in front of a judge who holds you accountable for every action and decision you make. Imagine that same judge showing mercy and giving you a second opportunity despite the evidence against you. The just God is kind as well as just.

This delicate balance is captured in Psalm 103:10–11 (NIV): “He does not treat us as our sins deserve, nor does He repay us according to our iniquities. For his love for people who fear him is as high as the skies are above the earth. God’s justice is balanced by his unending love and kindness.

The Redemption of Justice

Consider a debt that you will never be able to repay—a debt of mistakes and wrongs that weigh heavy on your soul. In His perfect justice, the just God provides a solution. God provides a mechanism for justice to be served and redemption to be offered through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23–24 (NIV), “and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. This is an example of justice being met via the redemptive act of Christ’s sacrifice.

A Call to Justice

Consider a society in which justice is not simply a notion but a way of life. In our interactions with others, the just God calls us to exemplify justice. Micah 6:8 (NIV) states unequivocally, “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. What does the Lord expect of you? Act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”

Living justly entails treating people with fairness, compassion, and respect, as the character of the just God requires.

Finishing: Adoring the Just God

The Just God asks us to comprehend the breadth of His justice—a justice that supports truth, requires accountability, and strikes a balance between mercy and justice. God’s justice and mercy merge in the person of Jesus Christ, offering us redemption and restoration.

May we turn to the just God as our ultimate standard as we traverse a world that frequently grapples with issues of fairness. May we seek His wisdom and counsel in order to live justly and treat others with love and justice. We find not only a paradigm of perfect justice but also an invitation to experience the transformative power of His kindness when we embrace the Just God.

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The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Pathway to Achievement

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The Joy of Serving Others: A Pathway to Fulfillment

The Pleasure of Serving Others: A Highway to Contentment

Have you ever ever felt the nice and cozy glow that effects from lending a serving to hand to a stranger, the enjoyment that lasts for days after the act of kindness? That emotion offers a way of the pride of serving to others. The straightforward act of serving to can give us a sense of function and pleasure in contrast to the rest in a society that incessantly pushes us to place our consideration on ourselves.

The Want to Serve

Believe a society the place everybody labored to fortify the lives of people of their instant neighborhood. The need to lend a serving to hand, proportion a load, and supply comfort is on the core of carrier. The instance used to be established through Jesus Himself when he stated, “For even the Son of Guy didn’t come to be served, however to serve, and to provide his lifestyles as a ransom for plenty of.” (NIV, Mark 10:45)

Serving others is extra than just a nice deed; it is a way to emulate the compassion and love that Christ proven for us.

Discovering Pleasure in Selfless Giving

Believe spending time with the aged or going to a neighborhood refuge to hear their stories and cause them to really feel essential. Those tiny acts of kindness won’t appear to be a lot, however they be capable to make any person’s day higher, create relationships, and toughen a sense of group.

A better feeling of pleasure emerges after we set aside our personal issues and be aware of the wishes of others. The Bible admonishes us, “Every of you can use no matter present you’ve gotten won to serve others, as trustworthy stewards of God’s grace in its more than a few paperwork.” (NIV) 1 Peter 4:10 We specific the particular talents God has given us through serving others, and it’s in those deeds of carrier that we discover authentic pleasure.

Have an effect on Unmeasurable

Take into consideration the impact if all of us realized to experience serving to others. If we take a bit spoil from our tense schedules to lend a hand a neighbor, supply a sympathetic ear, or donate cash to a reason we reinforce. Small acts of kindness have the facility to unfold, sparking a sequence response of generosity and optimistic exchange.

In step with the NIV translation of Matthew 25:40, Jesus stated, “Actually I inform you, no matter you probably did for this sort of least of those brothers and sisters of mine, you probably did for me.” No longer simplest can we fortify the lives of other folks we serve, however we additionally perform Jesus’ command to like and deal with the ones round us.

Development Relationships and Connections

Believe the sensation of camaraderie that comes from cooperating with others to reach a shared purpose. Folks come in combination via carrier, growing ties and friendships that differently won’t have took place. It serves as a reminder that we’re all part of a broader group, and that group would possibly take pleasure in the acts we do.

Serving others permits us to peer the arena from many angles and to realize the demanding situations and victories of other folks round us. Our lives are enriched and {our relationships} are deepened through this sensitivity.

Conclusion: Discovering Contentment Via Carrier

Every people has a skill that is able to be opened: the pleasure of serving to others. It serves as a reminder that our lives are meant to be about extra than just our personal pursuits; they’re an opportunity to fortify the lives of others.

Let’s thus embody the pride of serving to others, if it is by means of deeds of kindness, volunteering, or simply being conscious about their wishes. The easy act of serving would possibly supply mild and hope in a global that every so often turns out overwhelming. As we emulate Christ and prolong ourselves in love, we no longer simplest exchange the lives of others but additionally revel in a deep feeling of success and enjoyment that overflows into our personal hearts.

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