A couple singing hymns at Speakers' Corner in London. Photo by Matthias Gieselmann.
"Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again. Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men. For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God."
- Acts 20:25-27
h/t Matt Blair at Life With A Bible
The number of Christians killed for their faith has been growing since the beginning of Christianity, in AD 33. ©2001 World Christian Trends, William Carey Library, David Barrett & Todd Johnson
The exact numbers are listed after the jump.
Photo by Nasser Nouri (hdt).
Cairo, May 3, 2009. Egyptian Christian youths throw rocks at police in al-Mukatam neighbourhood in Cairo, Egypt. On Sunday a few hundred poor farmers scuffled with police and health ministry workers trying to take away and slaughter their herds. Associated Press says almost 250,000 poor Christians make their living from garbage collecting and raising pigs in city slums.
At first, Egyptian authorities ordered the swine culled to prevent H1N1 virus, although Egypt has had no cases of the flu and the WHO said it would do no good to kill the animals. Now, the government is saying the slaughter will improve hygenic conditions. Many Christians feel targeted for their religion.
Joe Johnson says on Michael Paulson's Articles of Faith blog, "With the Mega Church project, an interesting point of tension lies in a secular treatment of contemporary religious practice within Mega Churches. . . .This body of work attempts to reveal the mechanics of creating faith by capturing the wires, computers, light bulbs, and cords that are used to construct mysteries on stage for the faithful. The rawness of the abandoned mega-space and the eerie familiarity of its commercial fixtures question the intention and business of faith in the 21st century."
People rush in to Yoido Full Gospel Church, in Seoul, South Korea. YFGC says it is the biggest congregation on Earth. It has 527 pastors. In 2007, they reported more than 830,000 members. Seating is limited, even with seven Sunday services. Photo by Ray Chiang, all rights reserved.
White dots represent evangelicals in a map by the International Mission Board's Global Research Department.
At the time Cyclone Nargis hit Win's urban community in Yangon, Myanmar, her family could not afford a mosquito net to sleep under. Tonight, under a donated net, Win can sleep safe from mosquitoes which could give her malaria or dengue hemorrhagic fever. She says the net is the best thing World Vision could have given her. Photo © World Vision, used by permission.
More photos after the jump.
Floresta helped students at Ashira Secondary School in Tanzania plant trees in deforested areas.
This mother was freed from slavery in a South Asian rock quarry through International Justice Mission intervention in collaboration with local authorities. Photo courtesy of IJM.
"The very next day after my new converts, dressed all in white, were anointed with chrism, even as it was still gleaming upon their foreheads, they were cruelly cut down and killed by the swords of these same devilish men. At once I sent a good priest with a letter. I could trust him, for I had taught him from his boyhood. He went, accompanied by other priests, to see if we might claw something back from all the looting, most important, the baptized captives whom they had seized. Yet all they did was to laugh in our faces at the mere mention of their prisoners. ...
"For myself, I do not know 'what I shall say,' or how 'I may speak anymore' of those who are dead of these children of God--whom the sword has struck down so harshly, beyond all belief. For it is written, 'Weep with those that weep,' and again, 'If one member grieves, then all members should grieve together.' Because of this, the whole Church 'cries out and for its sons and daughters' who so far have not been killed by the sword. For they have been taken far away and abandoned in a land where sin abounds, openly, wickedly, impudently; there freeborn men are sold, Christians are reduced to slavery, and worst of all among the most worthless and vilest apostates, the Picts.
"Because of all this, my voice is raised in sorrow and mourning. Oh, my most beautiful, my lovely brethren and my sons 'whom I begot in Christ,' I have lost count of your number, what can I do to help you now? I am not worthy to come to the help of God or men. 'We have been overwhelmed by the wickedness of unjust men,' it is as if 'we had been made outsiders.' They find it unacceptable that we are Irish. But it says 'Is it not true that you all have but one God? Why then have you, each one of you, abandoned your own neighbor?' "
An inmate at the Carol S. Vance prison unit near Houston volunteers to be baptized to signify his faith in Christ. Photo courtesy of Prison Fellowship.
"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
- Luke 5:32
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
- Romans 6:1-4
Christian service in Mumbai's slums
Meenabhain, 35, is president of a self-help group and has been responsible for creating three more similar groups near Mumbai. She is the only woman in her village with a master's degree.
(c) 2007 Reena Samuel/World Vision
More images of Christian life in Mumbai's slums after the jump