This week's edition of my week-in-review feature, "The 3", has a definitely international flavor, as we are keeping our eyes on a new government in Southern Sudan that will likely be quite friendly to Christians. Plus, we continue to focus on pro-life activity surrounding the Roe v. Wade anniversary. And, in our top story, the turmoil in Egypt has a strong religious element, and plenty of interest to Christians.
3 - Southern Sudan residents vote to form own country
Voters in the region known as Southern Sudan went to the polls a few short weeks ago to decide on whether or not they would form their own country. This region has been in turmoil for years now, and conflicts between those in the predominantly Muslim North and the area where the Christians live, in the South have been protracted.
The results that have been reported indicate that 99 percent of those voting (and the voter turnout was 99 percent) desire to form an independent state in Southern Sudan. So, very soon, perhaps this summer, the world's newest nation will be born.
The Christian relief organization, Samaritan's Purse, has been working very hard in the region of the Sudan to help fulfill the needs of those who are hurting. With the formation of this new nation, it gives an opportunity for the Samaritan's Purse ministry to bring needed hope, through the physical aid and the spiritual truth. Here is a blog post from the Samaritan's Purse website that paints a picture of the mood surrounding these elections.
2 - March for Life draws hundreds of thousands; states continue to reject taxpayer-funding of abortion
The pro-life momentum continued into the new week, as the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., drew hundreds of thousands to show solidarity with the unborn. With the number of abortions approaching 50 million, pro-life advocates continue to use the anniversary of the dreadful U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade, to speak out and show their opposition to the taking of innocent, unborn life.
The March comes against the backdrop of a wave of pro-life legislation across the nation. Two bills were introduced into the U.S. House last week, and this week, another legislative body in another state passed a bill to prevent taxpayer-funded abortion in its state health care exchanges. This time, it was the Senate in Arkansas, moving that state closer to joining Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana as states that have passed so-called "opt-out" legislation. Here is the story on developments in Arkansas from LifeNews.com.
There's quite a bit of action in the states, with legislation designed to place limits on abortion finding its way to consideration. Also, Kansas, with pro-life Governor Sam Brownback championing the cause, is considering legislation that would ban late-term abortions and require consent from both parents before a minor can have an abortion.
1 - Egyptian unrest brings prayerful response
Citizens have been flooding the streets in unprecedented numbers in Egypt, to protest the regime of Hosni Mubarak and call for his resignation. Even though many of the protestors would apparently be in favor of a more moderate form of government, in contrast to the relatively hard-line approach that Mubarak has staked out for some 30 years now, nevertheless there is concern that there are elements of the Muslim Brotherhood that are involved, which would advocate for an Islamic fundamentalist state. So, while America's leaders are weighing their words and calling for Mubarak to not resort to widespread violence in order to deal with protestors and to support freedom of expression, certainly it is not in the best interest of the U.S. to see a more radical governmental structure put into place.
Certainly, there are religious elements of the recent events, and there have been recent conflicts involving the Coptic Christians in Egypt. And, from the standpoint of Biblical prophecy, Egypt is one of those nations that could be involved in last-days opposition to Israel. Here is the link to commentary by Jimmy DeYoung of Prophecy Today...commentary regarding Egypt and other Arab cities was included in the January 28 edition.
An Islamic fundamentalist government ruling Egypt will add a new dimension of turbulence to the region, and provide even more dilemmas for the nation of Israel, which within the last 2 weeks has had to deal with a new government rising in power in Lebanon, its neighbor to the north. Factor in the threat by Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the continued inflammatory rhetoric and military exercises by Iran and the entire region has become a potential powderkeg - but these are steps to Bible prophecy being fulfilled.
A number of Christians in the U.K. participated in a day of prayer regarding Egypt on Saturday. Here is the story from The Christian Post. We continue to remember the Christians in the nation, who have seemingly faced increasing marginalization and persecution.
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