This passion week we join our brothers and sisters in Kenya in grieving the execution of 147 Christian students at the Garissa University College in the north east of Kenya by terrorists affiliated with the Al-Shabaab extremist group in neighboring Somalia. We lift our prayers for the victims' families, for survivors, and for all of the citizens of Kenya who have lost hundreds of their citizens to Al-Shabaab in recent years.
India and rest of the world
PARIS (Reuters) - About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world, with conditions worsening for them most rapidly in Syria and Ethiopia, according to an annual report by a group supporting oppressed Christians worldwide.
Open Doors, a non-denominational Christian group, listed North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as the three toughest countries for Christians last year. They topped the 50-country ranking for 2011 as well.Syria jumped from 36th to 11th place on the list as its Christian minority, first suspected by rebels of close ties to the Assad government, has increasingly become a target for radical Islamist fighters, the report said.Ethiopia, which is two-thirds Christian, shot up from 38th to 15th place in the ranking due to a "complex mix of persecution dynamics" including attacks by radical Islamists and reprisals by traditional Christians against new Protestant movements.Mali came from no listing for 2011 to 7th place because the sharia rule the Islamist Ansar Dine group imposed on the north of the country not only brought harsh punishments for the Muslim majority but also drove the tiny Christian minority, it said.
One of the reasons God created mothers was to give us an earthly example of His heavenly love for us. Each stage of motherhood reveals an aspect of His love. Even in the womb the mother loves her baby. She knows his every move – she knows when he’s awake or sleeping or playing. This reminds us of how intimately our God knows us. Think of how a mother puts her baby’s needs ahead of her own. She’s willing to endure great pain to see her child face-to-face. The same is true with God who endured the great pain of seeing Jesus on the cross so that we will one day be able to see Him face-to-face.