Episode 518

Cuba Trip Yields Thousands To Christ, Nigeria Escapes Religious Freedom Violator List & Read More With Pleasure

Jan 8, 2024

As 2024 dawns, more than 4,800 people in western Cuba are walking into the new year with new spiritual life found only in Jesus Christ. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken omitted Nigeria from the 2024 list of egregious religious freedom violators Jan. 4, disregarding widespread outcry from advocacy groups including the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. And, Dan Darling believes you can read more and with pleasure in 2024.

Transcript

As 2024 dawns, more than 4,800 people in western Cuba are walking into the new year with new spiritual life found only in Jesus Christ.

During a late 2023 trip to the island nation, eight Christian leaders from Florida came alongside a group of Cuban leaders for eight days of evangelistic outreach and preaching, resulting in 4,820 professions of faith. The preachers from Florida divided into teams of two and preached in 45 churches and missions scattered across the provinces of Villa Clara and Cienfuegos.

It’s a partnership that been developing since 1997.

One of the Florida pastors says he’s receiving pictures from Cuba of new believers being baptized, being discipled and now serving.
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken omitted Nigeria from the 2024 list of egregious religious freedom violators Jan. 4, disregarding widespread outcry from advocacy groups including the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

The State Department has only listed Nigeria, the deadliest country for Christians, as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) in 2020 and 2021. The CPC designation indicates a national government has “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom,” and alerts Congress to impose policies or economic measures against the countries to promote international religious freedom.

ERLC President Brent Leatherwood, among several signatories on a December letter from advocacy groups urging Congress to address religious persecution in Nigeria, called Blinken’s omission of Nigeria a failure.
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Every day, hundreds of thousands of people die without the hope of Jesus. Your faithful prayers will make a difference. That’s why the IMB created a free 18-month calendar, called “Impacting Lostness Through Prayer”. It provides guidance, reminders and encouragement as you pray for individuals and communities who have yet to hear the gospel. Learn more about this free resource at IMB.org/prayercalendar.
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Dan Darling believes you can read more and with pleasure in 2024. Here are some tips.

Start by reading stuff you enjoy. Reading for pure pleasure is a way to sort of get you in the habit of reading in helpful ways.

Read books others recommend. What are your friends reading and recommending? What are people whom you admire reading? That’s a good place as any to start.

Have mini-goals for reading. This is especially important if I’m reading something I’m required to read. Instead of being overwhelmed by thinking about reading the entire book, set a goal to read one chapter a day or a set number of pages in a day.
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Find stories like this and more at Baptist Press.com. There you can learn how to sign up for our daily emails. They’re free and come to your inbox morning or evening. Visit Baptist Press.com to learn more.

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