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Monthly Archives: April 2013

LifeNews.com Pro-Life News Report
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit LifeNews.com.

Current Headlines

Top Stories
• Kermit Gosnell Murder Trial Jury Retires With No Verdict Yet
• Prosecutor: My Dog Treated Better Than Gosnell Treated Babies, Women
• Mother Finds Out Aborted Baby Feet Gosnell Kept Belonged to Her Baby
FDA Approves Sale of Plan B Morning After Pill to Teenagers

More Pro-Life News
• Jury of Seven Women, Five Men Hold Kermit Gosnell’s Fate in Their Hands
• Gosnell Attorney’s Racism Charges Ignore How He Killed Newborn Babies

• Planned Parenthood Clinic Temporarily Closes After Botching Abortions

• Kermit Gosnell Had an Accomplice in Killing Born-Alive Babies: The Media
• Fox News Expose’ “See No Evil, The Kermit Gosnell Murders” Airs Friday
• Catholic Bishop Blasts Media on Gosnell: “Some Stories Can’t be Ignored”
• Pro-Lifers to Protest D.C. Abortion Doc Who OKd Infanticide
• Ohio Orders Abortion Clinic Closed, Breaking State Health Laws
Florida Senate Unanimously OKS Anti-Infanticide Bill Planned Parenthood Opposed
• Obama HHS Mandate Opponent Takes Case to Federal Appeals Court

• Meet the Pro-Life College Student Who Took on His Campus And Won
• Actress Margaret Colin: Why Would New York Want More Abortions?
Despite Condoms and “Safe Sex” 50,000 New Annual USA HIV Infections

• How to Deed Your Business Property to Make it Permanently Abortion Free



Kermit Gosnell Murder Trial Jury Retires With No Verdict Yet
The jury in the Kermit Gosnell murder trial has retired for the day and has not delivered a verdict related to the babies he killed in grisly abortion-infanticides.

If sentenced for the convictions, Gosnell could face the death penalty following the convictions by the jury in Common Pleas Court in Philadelphia.

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/kermit-gosnell-murder-trial-jury-retires-with-no-verdict-yet/

Prosecutor: My Dog Treated Better Than Gosnell Treated Babies, Women
With lead prosecutor Joanne Pescatore wiping away tears, Assistant Ed Cameron gave an impassioned plea for justice in the final moments of his closing arguments in the Kermit Gosnell murder trial that left an impression on the gallery and most likely the jury.

Cameron had the last word for the jurors yesterday as he began by meticulously summarized the testimony of the 54 witnesses who testified in this capital murder case where Gosnell faces four counts of first degree murder for severing the spinal cords of babies born alive during illegal late-term abortions done amidst squalid conditions with grossly unqualified, poorly trained staff. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/prosecutor-my-dog-treated-better-than-gosnell-treated-babies-women/

Mother Finds Out Aborted Baby Feet Gosnell Kept Belonged to Her Baby
As the nation awaits the results of the Kermit Gosnell murder trial, a columnist who helped get some national coverage of the trial of the abortion practitioner is highlighting one woman’s tragic story.

In a new column at USA Today, writer Kirsten Powers focuses on the story of Desiree Hawkins. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/mother-finds-out-aborted-baby-feet-gosnell-kept-belonged-to-her-baby/

FDA Approves Sale of Plan B Morning After Pill to Teenagers
The FDA made it official today saying the morning after pill known as Plan B should be available without a prescription for teenagers starting at age 15.

“Plan B One-Step will not stop a pregnancy when a woman is already pregnant, and there is no medical evidence that the product will harm a developing fetus,” the FDA said in a statement. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/fda-approves-sale-of-plan-b-morning-after-pill-to-teenagers/



Jury of Seven Women, Five Men Hold Kermit Gosnell’s Fate in Their Hands
The trial of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, facing the death penalty for the deaths of four infants and one woman in his clinic, is over. America has moved on.

It’s exactly what the pro-abortion contingent wants. They want Gosnell out of the news because they want abortion out of the news. Ongoing discussion provokes thought about the status quo. And pro-aborts want to keep things as they are. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/jury-of-seven-women-five-men-hold-kermit-gosnells-fate-in-their-hands/

Gosnell Attorney’s Racism Charges Ignore How He Killed Newborn Babies
Kermit Gosnell’s defense attorney laid out his case for acquittal on five counts of murder but the specifics were telegraphed as far back as the trial’s opening statements six weeks ago.

According to Jack McMahon, even the District Attorney (who is an African-American) was part of an “elitist, racist prosecution” of a man so kindly that he puts Marcus Welby, MD, to shame. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/gosnell-attorneys-racism-charges-ignore-how-he-killed-newborn-babies/

Planned Parenthood Clinic Temporarily Closes After Botching Abortions
A Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Wilmington, Delaware is temporarily closing after botching multiple abortions on women and facing a state investigation. The state Division of Professional Regulation has launched the probe into the conduct of several staff members.

This is the same clinic where former staff members said it was so filthy that women were put at risk for catching AIDS or other diseases. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/planned-parenthood-clinic-closes-after-botching-abortions/

Kermit Gosnell Had an Accomplice in Killing Born-Alive Babies: The Media
Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell did not act alone. He has an accomplice who is just as guilty as he is for willfully taking part in these heinous crimes: the media. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/kermit-gosnell-had-an-accomplice-in-killing-born-alive-babies-the-media/

Looking for a Pro-Life Speaker for 2013?
Looking for a pro-life speaker for your next banquet, conference or convention? LifeNews.com editor Steven Ertelt is a low-cost speaker who can entertain and educate your audience as well as help you with a fundraising pitch if necessary. He can also speak on any pro-life topic. For more information, email news@LifeNews.com.


Fox News Expose’ “See No Evil, The Kermit Gosnell Murders” Airs Friday
Fox News will air a one-hour special on abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell and his murder trial, but the data and time have changed. Fox news has moved up the time from Sunday to Friday, May 3, at 9 p.m. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/fox-news-expose-see-no-evil-the-kermit-gosnell-murders-airs-friday/

Catholic Bishop Blasts Media on Gosnell: “Some Stories Can’t be Ignored”
The Catholic bishop who oversees Philadelphia, home to the abortion facility that Kermit Gosnell ran, is blasting the national media over its lack of coverage of the murder trial Gosnell faces. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/catholic-bishop-blasts-media-on-gosnell-some-stories-cant-be-ignored/

Pro-Lifers to Protest D.C. Abortion Doc Who OKd Infanticide
Pro-life advocates will stage a protest at the office of a Washington, D.C. abortion practitioner who was exposed on an undercover video saying he would let a newly-born baby die who survived a failed abortion. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/pro-lifers-to-protest-d-c-abortion-doc-who-okd-infanticide/

Ohio Orders Abortion Clinic Closed, Breaking State Health Laws
State officials in Ohio have ordered the closure of an abortion clinic in Ohio that is breaking a state health and safety law designed to protect women’s health. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/ohio-orders-abortion-clinic-closed-breaking-state-health-laws/

Florida Senate Unanimously OKS Anti-Infanticide Bill Planned Parenthood Opposed
Despite opposition from the Planned Parenthood abortion business, the Florida state Senate today passed a bill unanimously that would provide medical care and legal protection for babies who are born alive after failed abortions. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/florida-senate-unanimously-oks-anti-infanticide-bill-planned-parenthood-opposed/

Obama HHS Mandate Opponent Takes Case to Federal Appeals Court
The American Center for Law & Justice has filed its opening brief in Gilardi v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, an appeal pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/obama-hhs-mandate-opponent-takes-case-to-federal-appeals-court/

Meet the Pro-Life College Student Who Took on His Campus And Won
Christian Andzel is a young, inspirational pro-life man who is making a difference at University at Buffalo, the State University of New York. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/meet-the-pro-life-college-student-who-took-on-his-campus-and-won/

Actress Margaret Colin: Why Would New York Want More Abortions?
Actress Margaret Colin appears in a new video asking New York state residents why they would want a higher abortion rate when it is already the highest in the nation. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/actress-margaret-colin-why-would-new-york-want-more-abortions/

Despite Condoms and “Safe Sex” 50,000 New Annual USA HIV Infections
Despite decades of calling sex with a condom “safe sex,” or even worse, “safer sex,” there are still 50,000 new infections in the USA each year. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/despite-condoms-and-safe-sex-50000-new-annual-usa-hiv-infections/

How to Deed Your Business Property to Make it Permanently Abortion Free
Recall the Livonia, Michigan, pro-life businessman who bought an abortion clinic property earlier this month and then banned it from being sold to an abortionist. http://www.lifenews.com/2013/04/30/how-to-deed-your-business-property-to-make-it-permanently-abortion-free/


 

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April 30, 2013, Tuesday — Meeting with Peres

 

Today is the Feast of Pope St. Pius V (1504-1572), the Pope responsible for codifying the Tridentine rite of the Mass in 1570. He also declared St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church.

 

In Rome, several important stories are “trending”:

 

1. Pope Francis to visit Israel? In the Vatican today, Pope Francis met with the President of Israel, Shimon Peres. The two men discussed the general Middle East situation, including the tragic civil war in Syria which has caused great suffering to the very ancient Christian community there, largely Orthodox. Peres invited Pope Francis to visit Israel, and Francis accepted the invitation, though with no date yet set. This suggests there could be a papal visit to the Holy Land in the not-too-distant future, perhaps already in 2014, a year from now. As Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service reported today: “Talk about a possible papal trip to Israel already circulated in March after Pope Francis met Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Several news reports said the Orthodox patriarch suggested that he and the Pope meet in Jerusalem in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic first step in Catholic-Orthodox rapprochement: the 1964 meeting there between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.”

 

 

2. Will John Paul II soon be made a saint? It is being rumored that the canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II could occur as early as Sunday, October 20, later this year. This is not official! But rumors in recent days have been insistent that a second extraordinary healing attributed to John Paul’s intercession was recently approved in Rome, opening the way for a decree of canonization only 8 years after the Polish Pope’s death in 2005.

 

3. Reform of the Roman Curia? Many are wondering what changes Pope Francis may choose to make in the personnel and functioning of the Roman Curia. And in today’s April 30 edition, the Osservatore Romano published a wide-ranging interview on the matter with Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 64, the current Substitute for General Affairs since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on May 10, 2011. (Becciu had previously been nuncio to Cuba.) Becciu says the Pope is moving without haste, deliberately, and that many observers are imagining changes that will not occur. He also says the Vatican Bank, contrary to some rumors, will not be closed by the new Pope.

4. The Return of Emeritus Pope Benedict to the Vatican. Two months and four days — so, 64 days — after he left the Vatican by helicopter for the summer papal palace in the small town of Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome, Emeritus Pope Benedict will return to the Vatican, by helicopter, on the evening of Thursday, May 2. He will live in a restored convent in the Vatican Gardens on a hill which rises behind St. Peter’s Basilica. This will bring him physically much closer to Pope Francis — about a 12-15 minute walk, depending how fast one walks — who is still living in the Domus Santa Marta, a Vatican guest house, and not in the Apostolic Palace which rises above St. Peter’s Square. There is no official word on what the relationship of the two men will be, whether they will meet to discuss theology and Church government, or not. Shortly before his February 28 renunciation of the papal throne, Benedict, now 86 (note that his brother, Georg, is 89 and in good health), stated that he would be “withdrawing into prayer” and would live out his remaining days “hidden from the world” (“nascosto dal mondo“). Benedict wears a white cassock with no a cape; Francis wears a white cassock with a short cape, the traditional clothing for a Pope.

 

5. Francis and his Marian Devotion. On Saturday, May 4, Pope Francis will go back to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, across Rome from St. Peter’s Basilica, to recite the Rosary. He went there on the first morning of his pontificate, on March 14. Also, on May 13 in Fatima, Portugal, the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, at the repeated urging of Pope Francis, will consecrate Pope Francis’s papacy to Our Lady of Fatima.

 


 

heroicnews6

heroicnews6

 

Planned Parenthood ‘sex ed’ ad to shocking for print media

Posted: 30 Apr 2013 01:04 PM PDT

Last week American Life League tried to run a full page ad in the New York Times and Washington Post that showed images from actual Planned Parenthood sex education materials for kids as young as 10 years old.

Prosecutor to Gosnell: ‘Are you human?’

Posted: 30 Apr 2013 12:47 PM PDT

 
 


 

Why American Catholics Are Not Okay?

 

When Being an American is more Important Than Being Catholic:
Cultural Catholicism

by Fr. Dwight Longenecker: Reading Sherry Weddell’s excellent Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus is making me think about the American church and what ails her. Can anybody deny that there is a sickness in the body ecclesia? When 50% of Catholics vote for a man who stoutly defends same sex marriage and partial birth abortion can we say that Catholics in America are okay?

Catholics Voting for Staunch Defenders of Partial Birth Abortion and Homosexuality

I don’t think so.

Thus a series of posts on what’s killing Catholicism. All the words begin with the letter ‘C’. I can’t help it. I was brought up as a Biblical Evangelical and our pastors always used alliteration to make their points memorable.

The first problem is cultural catholicism. The Poles, Italians, Irish, French, Czech, German and more Catholics came here from the old country and the bishops reckoned the best thing to do with them all was to allow cultural parishes. So in the same town the Irish Catholics went to St Patrick’s and the Poles to St Stanislaus and the Italians to St Anthony of Padua. Geesh, a man in my parish who grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania said that when he was a boy a girl from his Czech parish fell in love with an Irish boy and the Irish priest wouldn’t marry them because it was a mixed marriage.

I’m all for cultural customs and so forth, but the problem is that the immigrant Catholics–in a foreign land–clung to their culture for security and happiness and part of that culture was their Catholicism. The didn’t distinguish their culture from their Catholicism. Then, after a few generations, when they were all really American and stopped being Italian or Irish or German they also stopped being Catholic. The Catholic faith wasn’t much deeper than Mama’s special spaghetti sauce or stories of the Blarney stone.

Of course they didn’t all stop being Catholic. Something else happened which was even more subtle and insidious. They became Americans and because their mindset was that their Catholic faith was something which blended with their culture, instead of being Italian-Catholics or Polish Catholics they became American Catholics. Just as nationalism and love of culture blended with their Catholic faith when they were ethnic minorities, now it blended seamlessly with their new American culture. Just as Catholicism gave their former culture God’s approval, not their Catholicism gave American values and culture God’s approval.

Thus we have what I call AmChurch: the American Catholic church which is happily and blissfully blended with everything wonderful about America. Except that the “wonderful” values of most Americans are unapologetically materialistic, hedonistic and self centered. Thus at least 50% of American Catholics live like their American neighbors–going to the mall, getting as much stuff as possible, giving as little as possible, having a neat and tidy two children and a double income, and basically smiling their way to success like everyone else.

Now this grates with me because I was brought up as an Evangelical fundamentalist and I realize the roots are deep. More than that, I come from seven generations of sturdy Pennsylvania Dutch anabaptists–Mennonnites, Amish, Brethren and such. These people had exactly the other point of view. They were first and foremost Christians. They considered it the default setting that each person had to hear the call of Christ and leave their nets and follow him. The church was a pilgrim people–a people set apart. They were suspicious of the surrounding culture and very suspicious of officialdom of every kind. If the Catholics absorbed culture the Mennonite were deliberately counter cultural.

The Mennonite approach, however, has it’s problems. The gospel says we’re to be “in the world but not of the world”. We’re not actually supposed to be totally counter cultural. We’re supposed to be yeast in the dough, a light set on the hill. You get too counter cultural and you become a weird sect like the Branch Davidians

Being a happy Benedictine oblate I see the solution as being something more than both of these ways. The problem with cultural Catholics in America is that they have never come to realize that the Catholic faith transcends every culture. That’s what Catholic means for goodness sake! It’s universal. The Catholic faith is therefore embedded in every culture and takes from every culture what is useful and good, but because it transcends culture it is also automatically counter cultural in the right way.

The Catholic should always be in a constant tug of war with the culture around him. Here affirming what is good–there condemning what is bad. Here supporting all that is full of life, love, truth beauty and goodness and there condemning and avoiding all that is full of death, hate, lies, ugliness and evil.

The answer to Cultural Catholicism, therefore, is what I call Comprehensive Catholicism–a Catholicism that embraces all things for their essential worth. If their value is precious and eternal the more highly we love them. If their value is trash–well we love trash for what its worth too: to be thrown on the rubbish pile and burnt. This sort of constantly discerning Catholicism is what is needed at the individual and local level, but the reason people opt for cultural Catholicism is because it is easy.

This is the core problem with Cultural Catholicism: by its very nature it goes with the flow. In its love and acceptance of the ethnic culture it is uncritical, and because individual cultural Catholics are uncritical of their culture they are also uncritical of the level of their Catholic faith. They chortle along quite happily living the unexamined life.

When the test comes this kind of Catholicism will simply with and die in the heat. “When the test comes?” We are in the middle of the test already. What I see in the American Catholic Church is a huge “F” on that test. The opportunity to stand up and be counted and to stand against the culture of death in this country has already been lost by the majority of so called Catholics because so blinded by the love of their culture, they didn’t even realize there was a test to start with.

 

 

  From Courageous Priest
 




MONTREAL, Quebec, Canada, April 30, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Twenty-five women are walking from Montreal to the Supreme Court in Ottawa in an abortion harassment awareness initiative that launched Sunday. The Back to Life Walk is an authentic women’s movement that aims not only to raise awareness about abortion harassment, but to pray for a shift in Canadian culture on this issue. The 25 culturally diverse women walking 200km represent the 25 years of no laws on abortion in this nation — China and North Korea are the only other countries with no abortion laws.

Abortion harassment is the coercion of women into abortion when they do not want one. Studies indicate that as many as 64% of women in Canada who have had abortions would say they were badgered into it. The women walking are particularly interested in the issue because many of them have a personal harassment story to share. Many of them were pressured into unwanted abortions by boyfriends, family members, and unbelievably, even by doctors. Video interviews of the walkers telling their stories are getting strong viewership online.

Organizer Faytene Grasseschi explains: “Many of the walkers have very painful abortion stories to share. What is troubling is that we are finding that their stories are representative of thousands of women — this really is the untold story of abortion in Canada.”

“I was pressured into abortion when my baby was 5 months old,” explains walker Ashley Williams. “I could already feel it moving. My boyfriend told me I was going to do it. I honestly felt trapped. It was like my voice on the issue didn’t matter to him.” Ironically, while she was on the abortion table he had a change of heart and tried to stop the procedure. Her boyfriend was resisted by medical staff who told him he had no right to interfere with her “choice.” Ashley woke up on the other side of the abortion, devastated.

Grasseschi emphasized the loving tone of the walk: “With every step we take we are walking for our own restoration, our mothers, our sisters, our friends and our future nation. We count it an honor to share our stories in the hopes it will help other women and open many eyes in Canada.”

For more information, visit www.backtolifecanada.com.


,

MEDIA ALERT                                                             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   

 64a92-plannedsnakehood-772478

                                                                                   

Message to Planned Parenthood, “Abortion is nothing to Celebrate”in Chicago

 

“Hard-working” PP President and “Contraception Cheerleader” Targets of Navy Pier Protest

 

WHAT:  A Pro-Life protest of Planned Parenthood’s Generations Gala

 

WHEN: Thursday, May 2, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. (Central)

 

WHERE: Chicago’s Navy Pier, beginning at Illinois Street, one block east of Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

MAP: http://goo.gl/maps/OlP5n

 

WHO: Pro-Life Action League and concerned citizens

 

WHAT: Prayer and protest to bring attention to the profit-driven abortion industry’s disregard for the well-being and safety of women and children. Of particular concern are flippant comments made my current Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, who has famously boasted that she works hard for her huge salary, and Sandra Fluke, who is best known for complaining to Congress that her Catholic law school refuses to pay for students’ contraception.

 

WHY: Americans who value the sanctity of human life wish to confront Planned Parenthood’s well-heeled donors with the grisly reality of exactly what they’re supporting.  The protest message will be simple: Abortion is nothing to celebrate.

 

VISUALS/AUDIO:

•           Poster-sized images of aborted babies

•           Pro-life supporters praying and protesting

•           Possible reaction from Planned Parenthood event attendees and staff.

•           Negative and positive reactions from passerby

 

 

###

 

On-site contact:

Eric Scheidler, Executive Director, Pro-Life Action League

773-251-8792 (cell), eric@prolifeaction.org

 

To arrange a media interview:

Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations

312-422-1333, tc@tcpr.net

 

 

Thomas Ciesielka

 

TC Public Relations

One N. LaSalle Street

Suite 600

Chicago, IL 60602

www.tcpr.net

 

(o) 312-422-1333

(c) 312-403-1333

 

 


Open Doors USA Urges Believers to Pledge to Pray on Saturday, May 11

SANTA ANA, Calif., April 30, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Most churches in Syria will unite in prayer on Saturday, May 11, in many places around the war-torn nation. This will be an extraordinary show of unity of Christian denominations in Syria, where the on-going civil war has claimed over 70,000 lives.

Syrian Christians are asking their brothers and sisters around the world to pray and fast with them on the Day of Prayer for Syria on May 11.

“As Christians in Syria continue to suffer from the devastating effects of the two-year-old civil war including killings, kidnappings, homelessness, lack of food and shelter and closing of schools; they are also seeing that God’s hand is at work as all denominations are joining in passionate prayer,” says Open Doors USA interim President/CEO Steve Ridgway. “Christians in Syria know only Jesus can bring redemption and true peace.

“I urge you to take time on May 11 to pray with Syrian believers and for the country of Syria. Also encourage prayer in your churches on May 12. Let’s stand together as one in Christ.”

Syria as well as the Christian church there.

On Saturday May 11, 2013 churches ALL OVER SYRIA will unite in one heart before the father. They are meeting in their churches, homes and gathering places to send their cries to our Lord. Please join your brothers and sisters that day in prayers and, if you can, in fasting.

You can also help your brothers and sisters in Christ by spreading the word to your church leaders, pastors and priests. Share this event on Facebook and use the connections you have to let the body of Christ know World Wide that the rest of their family in Syria needs them on this specific day!

Thank you, and may the Lord keep our hearts and eyes on Him in the middle of the pain and suffering that is happening around the world.

Philippians 4:6 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Open Doors received a letter from leaders coordinating The Day of Prayer for Syria. In part, it reads:

“As you may know, the Christian church in Syria is experiencing a deep humanitarian crisis that is leading to the rapid loss of hope. In the face of violence and persecution, our brothers and sisters are striving to keep their eyes on the Lord and seeking His face in their country. Even in pain, suffering and death, God is using the church to accomplish His plan.

On Saturday, May 11, Christians from different denominations such as Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant/Evangelical are joining together in prayer and fasting to plead before the Lord for His mercy on Syria and an end to the violence. Due to the dangers of traveling in combat zones, Christians will be limited to local meetings planned all across Syria during this day. These groups will be meeting in homes, arenas and churches. Christians across Syria have asked that you join them in prayer on May 11.

Thank you for standing in the gap on behalf of the Syrian people and reflecting the love of Christ in your acts of worship.

In Damascus, some of the churches will meet in an arena, but there will be prayer in several suburbs of the city. The entire Christian community in Aleppo and the surrounding area is gathering to pray. “This is a huge undertaking as it (day of prayer with almost all denominations participating) has never happened in Syria before,” said a Syrian church leader.

For more information, a list of specific prayer requests, and to make a pledge to pray for Syria, go to www.opendoorsusa.org/syria-pray.

A few prayer requests from churches inside Syria include:

    • The release of two Orthodox bishops, Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yazigi, who were kidnapped April 23 in Aleppo, and other Christians who are missing.

 

    • Counseling for children who have been traumatized by violence.

 

    • For almost one-third of the Syrian population who are either refugees outside the country or homeless inside Syria.

 

  • Return of peace.

On the ground in Syria, Open Doors, working with church partners, is helping facilitate food supplies, personal hygiene products, medical assistance/medicines and financial support by paying the rent of apartments for temporary shelter for the homeless. The Displaced Peoples Project also is targeting other countries. Worldwide, thousands of Christians are being forced to leave their original family homes and villages due to persecution and ravages of war.

For almost 60 years Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles and Christian literature, training Christian leaders, facilitating social/economic projects and uniting believers in the West in prayer for Christians, who are the most persecuted religious group in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our website at www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Open Doors USA Media Relations Director Jerry Dykstra at jerryd@odusa.org or call 616-915-4117).