The International Legal Forum has brought accusations of torture against the Palestinian Authority (PA) before the International Criminal Court, the first request of its kind, ahead of a UN report. They called for it to investigate President Mahmoud Abbas (in his 18th year in office after cancelling numerous scheduled elections) and the PA for ‘rampant, wide-spread and systematic torture’ against Palestinian and Israeli nationals. The forum’s CEO said, ‘The Palestinian Authority is yet to be held accountable under the law for committing such grave crimes as torture.’ Examples include Palestinian human rights activist Nizar Banat, who criticised the PA and died after being beaten in the custody of the security services in 2021. A trial against the officers responsible for his death has not yet concluded. Banat’s family call the trial a ‘farce’. The PA also took two mentally-ill Israelis hostage after they inadvertently crossed into Gaza, and refused to allow the International Red Cross access to them.
Devastating flash floods have killed 37 people and hundreds are still missing in eastern Kentucky’s worst disaster for decades. The death toll will continue to rise. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed. People are sitting on their porches, hoping somebody is coming to save them. See In July, Sydney in Australia was hit with a month’s worth of rain in five days; people are still cleaning up three feet of swirling mud. Pakistan has 7,000+ glaciers, but rising global temperatures are causing them to melt rapidly, creating thousands of glacial lakes that might burst and release millions of cubic metres of water and debris, flooding villages in just a few hours. Worsening Indian monsoons cause Mumbai residents to commute on Venetian gondolas and inflatable dinghies. This year residents are being asked to tweet details about floods in their neighbourhoods. The data is then used to issue immediate geographically-specific flood alerts.
Craig's farm was seized by Zimbabwe’s government in 2003, forcing his family to move to Harare. He joined a Foundations for Farming group and began teaching the new owners and other small-scale farmers a unique way of farming revealed by God - farming without tillage or burning. He immediately got a 10% increase in yield. He started to grow it bigger, but he knew that God had given him this revelation not for himself but to share across Africa to the rural farmers, the hurting, the poor ones. Zero-tillage technique caught the attention of the government, which endorsed the method. In 2020 Zimbabwe experienced its first food surplus in two decades and now Foundations for Farming teaches the technique all over the world, with the main goal of sharing the Gospel. ‘80% of what we teach is the heart, using agriculture as an entry point for the gospel.’
Seven Australian rugby league team members boycotted a championship match against Sydney Roosters on religious grounds, after being told to wear a jersey celebrating LGBTQ+ rights, replacing white stripes with rainbow bands. Reverend Palu has never met the players but he’s proud of them, saying, ‘Christianity takes a very strong root in our people’. After another team told players to wear such a jersey without consulting them, that was another flashpoint in deepening tensions between people of faith and the mainstream community over sexuality and same-sex marriage. A similar battle is happening in schools, politics and inside the churches as secular and progressive religious communities embrace sexual diversity while theological conservatives say it contradicts the Bible. Reverend Fihaki said Christianity was ‘ingrained into our culture. It’s not just a matter of going to church on Sunday, it’s part of our DNA, it’s part of our culture, it is who we are’.
‘God’s love for me doesn’t depend on how I perform’, says British athlete Adam Pengilly. Christian boxer Katie Taylor said, 'I actually don't know how people get through difficult moments without God in their life'. See During the Commonwealth Games, Passion for Sport will be in Birmingham hosting a special outreach exhibition featuring stories of eight Christian athletes. Three are reigning Commonwealth champions, one is a netball captain, and four are former athletes with great testimonies. Each athlete’s story is heard via a QR code link displayed in the installation. There are also visual creations of key moments from personal journeys. Pray for the success of this outreach installation, may it inspire and immerse people of faith and none into the world of Christian athletes. For 25 years, Passion for Sport has been reporting from major sporting events aiming to introduce sports fans to Jesus through comments, discussions and interviews with top Christian athletes sharing their faith.
This spring and summer across the British Isles, church members have been spending time and energy organising and preparing for youth camps and events in their locality. Now that the schools have closed for summer holidays, we can pray for the young people attending these camps. May they hear the Christian message in their hearts and not just receive head knowledge. Pray for an anointing from heaven to fall on every volunteer running these outreaches. Pray that they do not become fatigued physically or emotionally in the fast-moving environment of youth activities. Pray for God to renew their strength daily as they disciple their various age groups. Lord, be near this generation growing up in an era of stimulation, confusion, and social media. May You be the most real thing to them in a culture that offers temptation with things that look beautiful but are, in reality, empty.
Parents have concerns over ‘highly inappropriate’ drag queen story time sessions for children as young as three. The Story Hour summer tour starts next week, performing to as many as 3,000 three- to eleven-year-olds at sixty public libraries in England and Wales. The sessions include reading children’s books about same-sex relationships. Outraged parents wrote to their local councils expressing their concerns about the highly sexualised events. Their letters, co-ordinated by the Family Education Trust, say, ‘Drag shows are adults-only entertainment and not suitable for school-age children’. The letters also criticised promotion of radical gender ideology and stated, ‘To try to blind children to a most basic fact of human existence is a form of child abuse. Children who experience gender identity issues need careful and sensitive care, not wholesale indoctrination.’ In response Drag Queens organised online fundraising for ‘Mermaids charity’, which promotes puberty-blocking drugs and surgery for children who are confused about their gender.
650 Bishops from across the Anglican Communion are debating at the Lambeth Conference if marriage is solely between a man and a woman. The once-a-decade conference ends on 8 August. There is now a three-way choice of voting options around homosexuality being incompatible with scripture. Originally bishops were asked to reaffirm a resolution of the 1998 Conference which considers homosexuality as ‘incompatible with scripture’. Now they can not only affirm it or abstain; they can vote against. This revised outlook has the potential to divide the church. A poll commissioned by the Ozanne Foundation found a clear majority of Anglicans believe that same-sex marriage is right, despite the church’s refusal to permit it. See