If Your Child Was Killed by ISIS, Could You Pray For the Murderer?

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In recent days, our hearts have been torn and our emotions exhausted as we’ve attempted to process the horrific martyrdom of 21 Christian young men (20 Egyptian and one Ghanian) at the hands of their radical-Islamic captors.

And then, just yesterday, we learned that ISIS had kidnapped dozens of Assyrian Christians, including many women and children, in northeast Syria.

Last week, I shared  behind-the-scenes insights from the director of Focus on the Family’s Middle East outreach, Sami Yacoub, that lent meaningful background to the news reports we were hearing.

Washington Florist Stays True to Faith Convictions, Risks Financial Ruin

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A news roundup on the issues that matter most.

How Many Kids Grow Up With Their Married Mom and Dad?”: Less than half, according to a new report by the Family Research Council. It finds 54 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds do not live in a home with their married mother and father.

The story of Pastor Lee-Jon-rak and his baby box – the topic of Focus’ upcoming film, “The Drop Box” – has earned a lot of media attention since the original article in the L.A.

May the 21 Martyrs Cause Us to Remember, Unite and Pray

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Thousands of churches will be remembering the 21 Christian Egyptian martyrs who were recently killed by Islamic terrorists this Sunday, Feb. 22 through a moment of silence followed by a time of prayer.

This time of remembrance is part of a movement sponsored by various Christian groups, including Focus on the Family, through the 21martyrs.com.  Church leaders can find a short but powerful video at the website that reflects on the persecution Christians around the world are facing – and the Bible’s promises to the persecuted.

What the Media Isn’t Reporting on ISIS’ Beheading of 21 Christian Men

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The tragic images are almost impossible to see and process.

There on the shore of Libya stand 21 young Christian Egyptian men, each clad in an orange jumpsuit. Behind each man is a hooded radical Islamist, holding a knife.

We know what’s coming next.

If American Christians were ever tempted to believe martyrs are only people we read about in the Bible and history books, the 21 men who were brutally beheaded because they called Jesus Christ their Savior remind us nothing could be further from the truth.

Today’s Supreme Court Announcement About Marriage Misses This Fact

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Today’s news regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to grant certiorari to four marriage cases sets up the impending culmination to a decades-long cultural debate.

The outcome will either uphold a state’s right to define marriage or declare same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

However, regardless of the outcome, today’s news fails to recognize, appreciate and honor a key truth. Marriage is an institution that historically and culturally has always brought the two unique and complementary parts of humanity together into a lifetime, cooperative partnership that establishes and maintains the family.

Was Atlanta’s Fire Chief Fired Over His Faith?

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By now you’ve likely heard that Atlanta Fire Chief, Kelvin Cochran, was recently fired from his position for publishing a book in which he affirmed a biblically orthodox understanding of human sexuality.

The 162-page book in question, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?” is a Bible study designed for Christian men.

According to press reports, Mr. Cochran gave a copy of the book to three individuals within his department, all of whom he knew to be Christian.

Two Good Men Defend Faith and Family in Massachusetts

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Today I want to share with you the story of a pair of winsome warriors, as told by Focus’ Citizen magazine.  It’s a story of Christ-centered love for country, of cross-generational partnership and of heeding God’s call.

Subscribe to Citizen magazine to get full access to uplifting and informative, public policy-related content such as this. An iPad version of Citizen is available through the iTunes Newsstand. You can also subscribe to the print version for a special rate of only $9.99 by calling 1-800-A-FAMILY.

Encouraging Stories from “Bring Your Bible to School Day”

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A few weeks ago, I encouraged families to consider taking part in the first-ever “Bring Your Bible to School Day,” sponsored by Focus’ Day of Dialogue free-speech and religious freedom initiative.

Today I want to share with you three amazing things God did through the Oct. 16 event and the students – some just elementary school-aged boys and girls – who participated.

1. “Bring Your Bible to School Day” received positive media attention nationwide
With this being the first year we were sponsoring the event, we kept our efforts small, spreading the word mainly through our website and local Christian radio stations, so families could prayerfully consider participation.

Why are These Pastors Being Threatened with Fines of $1,000 Per Day?

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Donald and Evelyn Knapp, owners of the Hitching Post Chapel. [CREDIT: ALLIANCE DEFENDING FREEDOM]

Meet Donald and Evelyn Knapp.

Both in their late 60s, the Knapps have owned and operated the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho since 1989. In that time, they’ve performed more than 34,000 weddings. The chapel is conveniently located across from the Kootenai County Clerk’s office, which issues marriage licenses.

The Knapps are more than wedding chapel owners, though. They’re also ordained ministers from the Foursquare Church, an evangelical denomination. They take the tenets of their faith and denomination seriously, including the belief that marriage is a union of one man and one woman.

Freedom of Houston Pastors Still at Risk

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Last week’s bombshell out of Houston that its mayor, Annise Parker, had subpoenaed the sermons from area pastors is still causing ripples both inside and outside the faith community.

On Friday, city attorneys revised their demands. Instead of requesting the pastor’s sermons, they’re now demanding “all speeches or presentations” related to the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The controversial law, also known as the “Bathroom Bill” allows men who consider themselves women to use the women’s restroom.