Transgenderism in the News and Other Stories You Need to Know

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A news summary on issues that matter.

Christians continue to be martyred around the world
The horrific scene is all too familiar: Christian men walking blindfolded across a beach, held by Islamic State militants. A new video shows two groups of Ethiopian Christians being shot and beheaded at the hands of ISIS. This comes just days after Christians were thrown overboard on a ship, drowned at sea, “for praying to Jesus.”

Please continue to pray for the persecuted Church around the world.

Indiana’s Sore Winners?

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We’ve all heard about sore losers.

But sore winners?

Kirsten Powers, who writes for USA Today and regularly appears as a guest commentator on FOX News, penned a provocative column yesterday lamenting the fallout from Indiana’s contentious religious freedom debate.

Kirsten and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, including the definition of marriage, but I’m grateful for the candor and honesty with which she writes. In fact, she’s often a breath of fresh air.

What 18,000 Christian Students Are Planning to Do on April 16 Should Encourage You

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Today’s culture will often take issue with traditional Christian perspectives.

That’s what makes what will happen on April 16 all the more encouraging.

On that day, an estimated 18,000 students will share a Christian perspective on sexuality at their high schools and colleges thanks to Day of Dialogue, a student-led free speech event.

Think about the courage it takes for teenagers to commit to sharing a hope-filled, Bible-based perspective on sensitive social issues like marriage, sexuality and gender-identity issues.

Easter Puts Indiana Into Perspective

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As our thoughts turn to the core realities of our faith this weekend, we have great cause to rejoice that we live in a country whose foundational principles let us stand firm in our beliefs.

But we also have reason to grieve, because laws that buttress that foundation have come under criticism. As Christians, we have a duty to tell the truth—and call on others to tell the truth—about religious liberty policy that has served our nation well for decades, policy that is one of our greatest resources to live together peaceably despite our deepest differences.

Inclusive Indiana Law Protects Religious Liberties of All Americans

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It’s been hard to ignore the firestorm that’s erupted since Indiana unveiled its Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Since Governor Mike Pence signed it into law last week, the national news and social media have been consumed with debating this law.

Critics of the law raised concerns the legislation will give license and rise to discrimination – in other words, not serving homosexuals simply because of their orientation. For example, some are suggesting the act will allow restaurant owners to refuse service to homosexuals because they are gay.

What You Might Not Know About Pastor Saeed Abedeni

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If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news, you’ve probably heard about Saeed Abedeni. He’s an Iranian-American pastor, a former Muslim who converted to Christianity.

In 2012, Saeed went to Iran, a trip he’d made nearly a dozen times before. He was there to visit family and work on a government-approved orphanage for Muslim children. Instead, he was arrested by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and charged with “threatening Iran’s national security.”

In government-speak, that means they considered his Christian faith dangerous.

A Stunning Violation in San Francisco

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A news roundup on the issues that matter most.

- The Wall St. Journal’s “A Fight to Keep Catholic Schools Catholic explains how California lawmakers are trying to prevent San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone from hiring faculty that would advance Catholic teaching in area high schools.

Just imagine: Catholic schools teaching Catholic doctrine? The effort to coerce school officials into violating their convictions is a stunning assault on a religious school’s constitutional freedom.

Planet Fitness Revokes Woman’s Membership After She Complained About Transgender Person.

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.