Sunday, January 01, 2017

The 3 - January 1, 2017

In this week's edition of The 3, some details on faith leaders who will be part of the Inauguration of Donald Trump as President.  Also, there is concern over the U.N. resolution condemning construction of housing in the West Bank region of Jerusalem.  Plus, there continues to be hope for Christians in the Nineveh Plains region of Iraq - troops in Mosul killed almost 100 ISIS fighters on Christmas Day.

3 - Faith leaders to speak, pray at inauguration announced

The lineup of faith leaders who will be part of the Inauguration Ceremony for President-elect Donald Trump has been set, and Christian Headlines listed the six people who will "pray and give readings during Trump’s inauguration," according to Relevant Magazine.  They are "Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Rev. Franklin Graham, and Pastor Paula White."  The story states that:
They each represent a different religious group. Dolan is a Catholic, Hier a Jewish rabbi, Jackson a spokesman for African-American Christians, Rodriguez the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Graham a well known Christian evangelist and head of humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, and White a televangelist who has prayed over Trump a number of times during his campaign.
The article relates that Committee Chairman Tom Barrack said in a statement, according to “Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” “I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”

The Christian Headlines story notes that, "A few of these individuals, particularly White and Graham, were instrumental in carrying Trump to victory on Election Day."  Graham noted on Facebook this past week:
It is a privilege to be asked to take part in the inauguration of the next President of the United States. I am very thankful that prayer and reading from God's Holy Word will be a part of this important ceremony as the world watches. We need God's blessing and favor on this nation and our new president, Donald J. Trump. I'm praying for that--will you?
2 - Christian leaders voice concern over U.N. Israel resolution

Recently, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that condemned Israel for constructing housing for its people in the region known as the West Bank.   Even though the resolution passed overwhelmingly, the United States abstained in the vote, rather than vote against the resolution.

According to
The resolution says Israel’s settlements (Jewish communities in biblical Judea and Samaria, including eastern Jerusalem) aka the West Bank, which they consider Palestinian territory, have “no legal validity” and demands a halt to “all Israeli settlement activity.”
The resolution says Israel's settlements on Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have "no legal validity." It demands a halt to "all Israeli settlement activities," saying this "is essential for salvaging the two-state solution."
“The Obama administration not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes,” Netanyahu said.
Not unexpectedly, you have Christian leaders, who believe that standing with Israel is important, who have weighed in on the vote.  Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines tweeted out: "I strongly disagree with President Obama & John Kerry in the way they've come against America's ally - Israel."  And, former SBC President Bryant Wright sent out a tweet, which said: "Obama-Kerry to Israel,"Don't worry-Be happy-we know what's best for you" The naivette of elite progressives to evil & anti-semitism is sick."  Wright also tweeted out a link to a Washington Post op-ed piece by Charles Krauthammer, with the headline, Obama's final, most shameful, legacy moment.

Gary Bauer of American Values, wrote on Facebook:
In an administration that has moved from one low to the next when it comes to foreign policy and our role in the world, Obama set a new low last weekend as Jews and Christians were preparing to celebrate their most holy days. If you are confused about how damaging last week's U.N. Security Council vote is, all you need to know is that decent people on the left and right are condemning it, while Hamas and Islamic Jihad are dancing in the streets.
In condemning the action, recent guest on The Meeting House on Faith Radio, Laurie Cardoza-Moore, President of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and United Nations Special Envoy for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches, said, in part, in a press release:
But once again, the member states of the UN Security Council have proven their blind hatred of Jews and Israel and the double standard applied to Israel is unquestionable. To deny the Jews legal, archeological, historical and biblical rights to their entire ancient homeland is despicable.
CNN reports that:
Republicans are looking to bring up a non-binding House resolution condemning a recent United Nations security council vote that has caused intense blowback from Israel. That resolution pronounced Israeli settlements in the West Bank "had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security."
Congressional Republicans denounced the vote and the US move to abstain and are threatening additional action targeting the UN, such as suspending funding.
Some top Democrats on Capitol Hill have also criticized the Obama administration's handling of the matter and the resolution is likely to pass with significant bipartisan support.
1 - Battle for Mosul continues: almost 100 ISIS fighters killed on Christmas

For some months now, a group of forces, including an estimated "90,000 Iraqi, Kurdish Peshmerga, tribal militia and coalition forces have banded together in the battle to retake Mosul," according to a report on The Blaze, which said that 97 Islamic State militants were killed on Christmas Day by coalition troops, as reported by Iraq's Joint Military Command.

WORLD Magazine had reported back in October:
Ground operations to retake the city and Nineveh Plains commenced Oct. 16. As darkness spread over the vast plains—a 1,600-square-mile expanse that forms the historic Christian heartland of Iraq—coalition airstrikes combined with heavy shelling to soften ISIS (or Islamic State) targets. By daybreak Kurdish forces had advanced more than 6 miles along the 600-mile front line they had staked against ISIS since August 2014.
That WORLD story added, "For the approximately 200,000 Iraqi Christians driven from this area that summer, the prospect of returning home is real again."

A story on the British website, The Telegraph, opened by saying "Mosul’s Christians are celebrating their third Christmas in exile, but this year there is new hope that the beleaguered community will soon be able to return home for the first time in two and a half years." The article reported that on Christmas Eve, "displaced Christians" were scheduled to "hold a torch-lit procession through Erbil, the capital of the nearby Kurdistan Region," and Christmas morning, a mass was scheduled at the Mar Youhanna church in Qaraqosh, a city that had been liberated toward the beginning of the offensive to retake Mosul.

No comments: