Boko Haram Attacks, Pope Prays for Murdered Journalist, Gamers and the Gospel

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Here’s what you need to know in news for Sept. 10:

#1: Boko Haram forces thousands to run away from their homes

Thousands of Christians and Muslims have fled as Boko Haram continues to wage war in Nigeria.

Boko Haram recently captured the town of Michika in Nigeria, leaving hundred dead, according to reports.

“Several churches are in ruins and tens of thousands, mainly Christians, are running to escape Boko Haram,” Fr. Patrick Tor Alumuku, social communications officer in the archdiocese of Abuja, told Fides News Agency.

“Boko Haram is determined to eliminate every sign of Christian presence and many churches have been destroyed or torched. Last week in a village in the area of Maiduguri, Boko Haram took over the parish for its local headquarters.”

#2: Pope offers prayer for second killed journalist

Pope Francis has reached out in prayer to the family of a U.S. journalist who was killed by Islamic State militants.

Steve Sotloff, 31, was beheaded by militants after disappearing in August during a trip to Syria. He was a freelance journalist who had worked for Time and Foreign Policy.

“(Pope Francis) entrusts Steven’s soul to the Lord and offers prayers for you and all who mourn his death,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, said in a telegram sent Sept. 5 to Sotloff’s family on the Pope’s behalf.

“Upon you and your loved ones, he invokes the Almighty’s blessings of consolation and strength.”

#3: InterVarsity Christian Fellowship planning changes

After losing recognition, the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship said this week they are developing a “new style of campus ministry.”

The ministry has 23 chapters across some 19 campuses of California State University.

“Our campus access challenges give this generation of students an opportunity to reinvent campus ministry,” stated Greg Jao, InterVarsity’s national field director.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship lost campus access after California State University told the ministry that it had to adopt a “non-discrimination policy” that would require leadership positions in the ministry to be open to all students. Under InterVarsity policy, student leaders must affirm Christian doctrines.

#4: Gamechurch hopes to reach gamers

A ministry hoping to reach gamers has launched and is hoping to make an impact.

Gamechurch attends gaming conventions and also runs a video game news site. At conventions and expos, volunteers give out “Jesus loves gamers” lanyards. The group also distributes what they call “gamer bibles,” which are the books of John with gamer commentary.

“How do you argue with ‘Jesus loves you’ and free stuff?” asked Chris Gwaltney, Gamechurch’s missions coordinator. “He loves you right now, you don’t have to shower first.”

#5: Protesters create knitted brick wall at Capitol

Protesters places more than 1,600 crocheted and knitted “bricks” at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday to symbolize the rebuilding of the wall of separation between church and state.

The three walls come after the court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision to grant corporation religious exemptions in covering contraceptives.

Check out a photo slideshow of the “bricks” here.

 

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