Episode 521

Nigeria Hostile To Religious Freedom, Idaho Abortion Ban & Being Intentional In The New Year

Jan 11, 2024

College classmates stoned and torched Deborah Samuel to death in May 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria, accusing her of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. The Supreme Court will rule on a case involving an Idaho law which bans nearly all abortions in the state. And, Caleb Davis wants you to have a strong start to the new year but he believes it won’t happen accidentally. You must be intentional he writes in the Baptist Press Toolbox.

Transcript

College classmates stoned and torched Deborah Samuel to death in May 2022, in Abuja, Nigeria, accusing her of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad. At St. Francis Catholic Church in Ondo State, bandits attacked during mass on Pentecost Sunday and killed dozens.

The events occurred in mid-2022 around the time Frederick Davie, vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), was on an official trip investigating the religious persecution that makes Nigeria the most dangerous place globally for Christians.

Yet, the U.S. State Department has failed to list Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) since 2020, the lone year the country was included on the list that alerts Congress to religious freedom violations and lays groundwork for intervention.

The CPC designation indicates a national government has “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom,” as defined by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), and alerts Congress to impose policies or economic measures against the countries to promote international religious freedom.
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The Supreme Court will rule on a case involving an Idaho law which bans nearly all abortions in the state.

The high court agreed to hear a challenge to the law, known as the “Defense of Life Act,” which makes it a felony for doctors to perform most abortions, with an exception for procedures performed when necessary to save the life of the mother.

Last Friday (Jan. 5), the Supreme Court ruled Idaho can enforce the law while the case involving the legislation is being resolved. The court is expected to hear the case in April, and a subsequent decision is expected by early summer.

The Friday ruling put on hold a lower court ruling which blocked the Idaho law, based upon a lawsuit filed by the Biden administration.
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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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Caleb Davis wants you to have a strong start to the new year but he believes it won’t happen accidentally. You must be intentional he writes in the Baptist Press Toolbox.

“What could happen in your life and the lives of those around you if you lived with greater intentionality? Proverbs says, “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” (Proverbs 13:4). Think about your desires. What do you want? A better marriage? More fulfilling career? Financial freedom? More time with your kids? To make a difference? Desire alone will never produce change. We need diligence.

Don’t just hope 2024 is better. Don’t just hope that things will change. Start the year strong by being diligent in numbering your days, wisely reflecting on your life, and making a plan. Life may be short but it can be lived well. It can be lived with a heart full of wisdom. You won’t drift to where God is leading you but you can intentionally walk with him there. Let’s start the year this way and let’s live the life God has entrusted us in this way, every day.”
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