Here’s what you need to know in Christian news for Aug. 15, 2014:
1. Pastor imprisoned in Iran facing death threats
American Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been in Iran’s prison for nearly two years, is being threatened by ISIS terrorists locked in the same prison he is in.
According to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) reported Wednesday, Abedini told family members that some ISIS prisoners are planning to kill him because he is a Christian.
“This is an extremely dangerous development that puts Pastor Saeed’s life at grave risk,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.
Abedini was tried and convicted and sentenced to eight year in prison for his faith.
2. Worship singer says she is gay
A CCM worship songwriter and singer came out as gay this week.
“What Jesus taught was a radical message of welcome and inclusion and love,” she said. “I feel certain God loves me just the way I am, and I have a huge sense of calling to communicate that to young people.”
Vicky Beeching is the singer of the worship song “Glory to God Forever” along with Steve Fee.
The song is ranked as one of the 100 most popular songs sung in churches by the Christian Copyright Licensing International.
Beeching has three albums and has had songs appear on popular worship compilations such as WOW Worship and Here I Am to Worship.
3. Pope sends message to China while flying over country
Pope Francis, who is on a five-day visit to South Korea, passed along a message to China as his plane passed over northeastern China.
Vatican protocol says that the pope sends a telegram when he flies over a country.
In China’s message, the pope said: “Upon entering Chinese airspace, I extend best wishes to your excellency and your fellow citizens, and I invoke the divine blessings of peace and well-being upon the nation.”
No pope has ever visited China.
4. US could strike possible mission to rescue Yazidis
US forces may not try to rescue Yazidis trapped on Mount Sinjar, according to reports.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said: “There are far fewer Yazidis on Mt Sinjar than previously feared, in part because of the success of humanitarian air drops, air strikes on ISIL targets, the efforts of the Peshmerga and the ability of thousands of Yazidis to evacuate from the mountain each night over the last several days.”
Thousands of refugees fled to the mountain after being driven away by Islamic State militants.
5. Former Covenant Life Church member sentenced to prison
Nathaniel Morales, a former Covenant Life Church member in Maryland,was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Earlier this year, Morales was found guilty of several counts of sex abuse and sex offense.
Morales had been an active member with the church and involved with a teenage youth group. He left the church and moved to Las Vegas before his conviction.
“Mr. Morales you are a pathetic human being,” Judge Terrence J. McGann said as he announced the sentence.