Knights of Columbus Helping in Harvey’s Aftermath, in Preparation for Irma

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Sept. 7, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — The Knights of Columbus has raised more than $1.3 million for victims of the disastrous flooding in Texas and in preparation to help those who may be in the path of Hurricane Irma.

The organization has taken a leadership role in assisting those affected by the historic flooding in and around Houston, Corpus Christi and an enormous swath of inland and Gulf Coast towns and cities in Texas, distributing more than $150,000 for food, water and other necessities.

The Knights began reaching out to its members throughout the U.S. in Harvey’s immediate aftermath and is now expanding its appeal to the general public, as Irma bears down on Florida and the Caribbean.

“We have seen incredible generosity from our members, and we invite others to join us in providing aid that is urgently needed,” said Knights’ CEO Carl Anderson. “The funds we raise will make a real difference in the lives of those already affected and those who are bracing for the worst.”

Consistent with the K of C’s longstanding policy, 100 percent of all disaster relief donations are being used for current relief efforts and the needs that may arise from Irma.

Knights in Texas are already providing food and shelter to victims, helping people return to their homes, clearing debris and solving local problems such as providing upwards of 5,000 meals in in the Beaumont area and 8,000 in Ingleside. Weekend Masses were held at a Knights’ hall in Dickinson due to flood damage at the local parish.

Meanwhile, Knights in the areas that may be affected by Irma, are preparing disaster plans. The hurricane was strengthened to a dangerous Category 5 storm on Tuesday.

Donations by check or money order can be sent to: Knights of Columbus Charities, P.O. Box 1966, New Haven, CT 06509-1966 with “United Disaster Relief” in the memo portion of the check. They can also be made online at kofc.org/flood or by calling 1-800-694-5713.

Knights of Columbus Charities Inc. is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

The K of C was founded in 1882 by Venerable Father Michael McGivney, a parish priest, in New Haven, Connecticut. The organization was formed to provide charitable outreach and care for the financial well-being of Catholic families. It has grown to include more than 1.9 million members worldwide.

The Knights set a new all-time record for charitable donations in 2016, with more than $177.5 million in donations and more than 75 million hours of service valued at $1.8 billion.

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Hillsdale College’s Darryl G. Hart Named President of Mencken Society

HILLSDALE, Mich., Sept. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Hillsdale College announced today that Darryl G. Hart, distinguished associate professor of history at Hillsdale College will be installed as president of the Mencken Society and deliver the 2017 Mencken Memorial Lecture at 2 p.m. on September 9, 2017, at the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Mencken Day 2017 celebration.

Darryl G. Hart, distinguished associate professor of history at Hillsdale College
“It’s an honor to be chosen to take the helm of the Mencken Society and to speak at this year’s Mencken Day activities,” Hart said. “I’m looking forward to the chance to discuss the fascinating character of H. L. Mencken with others interested in the legacy he’s left behind.”
Titled “When America Was Great and Baltimore Knew Better,” Hart’s lecture is the centerpiece of the library’s event which honors the works and legacy of the “Sage of Baltimore,” Henry Louis Mencken. The speech will explore material from Hart’s recently published book, Damning Words: The Life and Religious Times of H. L. Mencken, which explores how Christianity framed Mencken’s skepticism and concerted criticisms of American culture.
As the speaker for the 2017 Mencken Memorial Lecture, Hart joins the ranks of esteemed previous lecturers including author Christopher Hitchens, long-time editor of The American Scholar Joseph Epstein and Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley.
Mencken Day 2017 will also feature several exhibits on Mencken, open to the public throughout the day. Other activities will be hosted at the Maryland Historical Society. The society’s France Hall will open its doors for the Mencken Society’s annual meeting, featuring an address by Baltimore lawyer George W. Liebmann, followed by Hart’s lecture. For a full schedule of Mencken Day 2017 events, visit http://calendar.prattlibrary.org/event/menckenday.
About Hillsdale College
Hillsdale College, founded in 1844, has built a national reputation through its classical liberal arts core curriculum and its principled refusal to accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies, even indirectly in the form of student grants or loans. It also conducts an outreach effort promoting civil and religious liberty, including a free monthly speech digest, Imprimis, with a circulation of more than 3.6 million. More information is available at hillsdale.edu.

Church of God in Christ Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 5, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Charities has launched a massive national response to the crisis in the Texas Gulf Coast area by collecting and deploying needed resources.

Photo: West Angeles COGIC opens center in Los Angeles — Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Mrs. Mae Lawrence Blake, Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr.

COGIC Charities, the benevolent arm of the Church of God in Christ, has set up regional collection centers, in COGIC churches and other facilities around the country, that will collect much needed items over the next two weeks for the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

These regional collection centers are asking their communities for basic needs items, to include hygiene products and kits, toiletries, nonperishable food items, bottled water, new undergarments (for men and women), new men’s and women’s clothing, new children’s clothing, baby diapers (all sizes), baby formula, cleaning products, plastic garbage bins, shovels, tools, and plastic trash bags.

Volunteers at each COGIC regional collection centers are planning to load approximately 40 semi tractor-trailer trucks with the donated items. Our collection weekend is Friday September 15 thru Sunday, September 17,

On Monday, September 18, 2017, following the collection weekend, semi-tractor trailers will depart from each of the regional collection centers nationwide, in route to the COGIC Super Resource Center in Houston, Texas a 25,000 square foot warehouse. The COGIC Ground Zero Task Force, led by the National Missions and Evangelism Departments and volunteers will unload the large trucks at the Resource Center. From the Super Resource Center the Task Force will load and dispatch smaller trucks for rapid ground response, distributing resources to Houston and the impacted Gulf Coast Areas.

COGIC’s Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. says, “Hurricane Harvey has devastated the Texas Gulf Coast area. Many of our pastors, members and thousands of Houstonians were forced to leave their homes submerged in water, along with several of our churches. The Church of God in Christ will help as many people as possible for as long as possible. Our prayers, our hearts and our resources go out to all of those affected by this overwhelming natural disaster.”

To view the COGIC Charities regional collection centers go to http://www.cogic.org.

The Church of God in Christ, headquartered in Memphis, TN, is one of the oldest and largest Pentecostal denominations in the world and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States, with churches in 87 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents.

Harlequin Authors Quote Katy Minister on Definition of Romance.

(Katy,Texas)  Best selling authors Loree Lough, and Cerella Sechrist write a monthly article for Harlequin Heart Warming’s official blog. On finding out that August was National Romance Awareness Month they decided for their newest article to dig into the question of what is romance ? When you’re a pair of authors for the world’s leading romance novel publishing company, where do you turn with such a question ?
One person Lough and Sechrist turned to was Katy, Texas minister Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield. Crutchfield is the same minister that Lough used as the basis for a character in her novels Guardians of the Heart and Healing of the Heart. This is not Crutchfield’s first time commenting on Romance and related subjects on the national stage either. Back in 1983 his poem Love Is was published in the anthology Hearts on Fire: A Treasury of Poems on Love. Two of his articles on SelfGrowth.Com are on relationships. Just last year CurvesConnect.Com the major dating site interviewed him on the topic of dating and politics.
Crutchfield defined romance for Harlequin Heart Warming as “Romance is the process of giving yourselves to each other, not in grand gestures but tiny pieces, not for brief spans of time, but for the long-term.” 
Crutchfield preaches weekly at the Spanish Meadows Nursing Home in Katy. His articles on Christian and other topics have been read all over the world !  He previously served as Chaplain of the Katy Fire and EMS Department. He is married, the father of two and grandfather of four.  He can be found online at Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Pioneering Form of ‘Conversational’ Christian Broadcasting Makes an Impact in Eastern Europe

Secular music mix approach developed with Reach Beyond’s help to encourage listeners to ‘think for themselves’ spreads in parts of former Soviet Union
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Aug. 15, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — A pioneering form of evangelistic Christian radio is spreading across parts of Eastern Europe, asking questions instead of giving answers.
Photo: Reach Beyond trainer Dave Jolly at the Joy FM studios in Romania.
Mixing secular and Christian music with conversation-starting commentary about life, Joy FM is breaking new ground and winning an audience in Romania and neighboring Moldova.
A partnership between Colorado Springs, Colo.-headquartered media and medical ministry Reach Beyond and local Christian ministries in both countries, Joy FM broadcasts 24/7 on eight stations under the tagline, “Music. Life. Community.”
The target audience is the majority unchurched population in each country, both of which were long under communist rule.
“The people were told what to think for a long time, but now we are encouraging them to think for themselves, so we ask a lot of questions on air,” said Reach Beyond’s Dave Jolly who helped launch the project.
“We’re a very different kind of station because we are not telling people what to think or believe; we want to ask questions to bring people into conversation and hopefully point them to a relationship with Jesus.”
Joy FM first went on the air in Arad, in western Romania, in late 2014. The response was positive with the phone calls, emails and social media responses. Then operators of seven Christian radio stations in neighboring Moldova–which was part of Romania until 1991–learned about the project and wanted to be part of it.
Those stations dropped their former, more traditional format of Christian music in June, becoming part of the Joy FM partnership. Now they carry the programming from Arad, whose Romanian-speaking presenters can be understood by many Moldovans who speak Romanian.
The opportunity in each country is big. According to Operation World, evangelical Christians account for only about 5 percent of Romania’s almost 20 million population and just 4 percent of Moldova’s 4 million people.
The Moldova expansion has been welcomed as an early affirmation of the new broadcast approach with hopes that it might be extended to other parts of the region.
The Joy FM menu is mainly English and Romanian secular music plus some Christian songs in both English and Romanian. “It’s a good mix of carefully chosen secular music,” said Jolly. “We don’t want it to detract from the main purpose, so we screen it very carefully.
“You can always find ideas in secular songs that can jump-start conversations, whether they are about relationships, broken relationships or love,” he continued. “We take them and use them as jumping-off points for dialogue.”
A former station manager in the U.S., Jolly has served in various duties with Reach Beyond, the latest one based in Arad since 2014. Originally the station manager, he has since moved into a consultancy role after helping train national staff.
He asked Reach Beyond supporters to pray that financial support would be forthcoming to keep the Joy FM stations on air, and for the development of a network of supporters to help befriend listeners who seek more information about faith through the broadcasts and connect them with local churches.
“It’s very exciting to see how Joy FM is being received because of its completely unique approach,” Jolly said. “It is an affirmation of the vision that we have to see God use us to communicate His truth in a different way and a confirmation that asking questions and trying to build relationships is working and impacting people, probably more so than preaching in this particular region of the world.”
Reach Beyond (reachbeyond.org) is a media- and medical-based evangelical ministry with operations on five continents. It spreads the message of Jesus in places that are primarily unreached or unengaged in the gospel. Reach Beyond uses media, including radio broadcasts, webcasts, social media and the distribution of solar-powered radios. It also reaches out to the needy throughout its growing network of healthcare services.

Anti-Christian Bigotry Surges in U.K.

NEW YORK, July 19, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on a new survey on anti-Christian bigotry in the United Kingdom:

Premier Christian Communications has released the results of a survey of 12,000 Christians in the U.K. assessing prejudice and discrimination against them. The findings are disturbing.

      • 93% say Christianity is being marginalized in society
      • 80% say Christianity is not given equal respect
      • 67% say they are unable to be open about their faith at work
      • 50% say they have experienced prejudice because of their Christian faith
      • 26% say they fear they will be persecuted for being open about their faith

Tim Farron, who resigned as the head of the Liberal Democrats last month, said that “we are kidding ourselves if we think we live in a tolerant liberal society.”

What is going on in the U.K. is also going on in the U.S.

The Catholic League website records an extensive example of anti-Catholic incidents, listing offenses stemming from activist organizations, the artistic community, business and the workplace, education, government, and the media. We have noted that the biggest spike in bigotry in recent years has emanated from government; it is also the most problematic venue of anti-Catholicism.

Evangelicals have also noted a surge in bigotry. The Family Research Council recently published “Hostility to Religion: The Growing Threat to Religious Liberty in the United States.” It noted a 76% increase in attacks on religious liberty over the past three years.

Earlier this year, First Liberty published “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America.” It found there was a 133% increase in attacks on religious liberty over the past five years.

In February, the Public Religion Research Institute did a survey of white evangelicals and found that they believe they face more discrimination than Muslims.

What’s going on? Farron is right: There is no tolerance for practicing Christians in the U.K., and the same is true in the U.S. Yet both nations prize their alleged open-mindedness. Much of the animus has to do with Christian sexual ethics: Christianity values restraint and the dominant culture in both nations values the abandonment of it.

But even this explanation is incomplete. Muslims are more in agreement with practicing Christians on sexual issues than they are with militant secularists. Yet in elite circles, the British and American high priests of tolerance are more accepting of Muslims than Christians. How can this be?

For one, Muslims are feared and Christians are not. Two, due to the corrupting influence of multiculturalism, elites in the West are more likely to embrace outsiders than they are their own, and this is especially true of practicing Christians. Three, those on the Left welcome everyone who seeks to undermine the basis of Western Civilization, namely the Judeo-Christian ethos. It’s a sick admixture of these three factors.

Christians in both nations need to hang tough and work together to combat anti-Christian bigotry. The alliances they forge must not be sidetracked by bigots, or by arrogant and boneheaded leaders in their own ranks who wish to crush such coalitions.

INOE Organizes Maiden International Day of Prayer for the Unsaved!

INOE International Day of Prayer for the Unsaved is being organized by The International Network of Online evangelists (INOE).
INOE is an online evangelism-based global Christian organization founded in 2016. It is a global network of Christians, who share the Gospel of Christ on the Internet.
According to John Adelakun, INOE Co-Founder and Int’l. President, the organization’s vision is to help Christians effectively reach out to, win and disciple souls for Christ through the Internet by equipping them with the knowledge of the effective methods of online evangelism, and by giving them all the needed spiritual, moral and ministerial support. It also works to facilitate the spreading of the Gospel of Christ around the world.
INOE International Day of Prayer for the Unsaved is aimed at encouraging Christians globally to  pray for the salvation of others for at least 5 minutes on the same day.
INOE International Day of Prayer for the Unsaved is believed to connect Christians from different locations all over the world on the same day through intercessory prayer, so as to contribute immensely to world evangelization.
In the words of Peter Adelakun, INOE Co-Founder and Int’l. Vice President (Africa), “Christians all over the world can choose to pray for their relatives, friends and others, who are yet to be saved on this day.” He further disclosed that, “if millions of Christians across the globe could dedicate at least 5 minutes of their time on a particular day of the year to pray for the salvation of others, hundreds of thousands of hours would have been judiciously spent in getting the hearts of thousands of sinners ready to respond favourably to the Gospel of Christ. This, we believe, would contribute immensely to world evangelization.”
As the inaugural INOE International Day of Prayer for the Unsaved comes up 20th August, 2017, those participating in the prayer event have the opportunity to choose the time that is most suitable to them to pray on the above-mentioned day.
Christians, Christian churches, Christian evangelism-based organizations, Christian mission agencies, Christian organizations, Christian schools, colleges, etc, around the world, are encouraged and expected to actively participate in this one-day spiritual exercise.
Those interested in the maiden INOE International Day of Prayer for the Unsaved are enjoined to contact the event’s Global Co-ordinator, Shem Mutulu, who also doubles as INOE Secretary-General, for more information. They can contact him thus:
Email: shemhope@gmail.com

The Distribution of Digital Bibles More Than Doubled Across the World in 2016

SWINDON, UK, July 3, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — For the third year running, Bible Societies have distributed more than 400 million Scripture items around the world — including more than 34 million Bibles. That’s enough for more than 5% of the world’s population. And since the beginning of the decade, the United Bible Societies fellowship (UBS) has distributed Scripture material for two out of every five people on the planet. The overall 2016 total — almost 401.4 million — includes Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and smaller Scripture items like booklets for people learning to read. It’s slightly lower than 2015’s total, but is up on the 2010 total by more than 34 million items.
Digital Scriptures
The distribution of non-print Bibles such as digital downloads, CDs, Scripture texts and DVDs has more than doubled across the world in 2016, driven by the growing demand for Bibles on our phones and devices. More than three million non-print Bibles were distributed in 2016, up from less than 1.3 million in 2015. There’s been an even sharper increase since 2010, when the Fellowship distributed less than 200,000 non-print Bibles in a year. The trend mirrors growing internet use around the world. Around 45% of the world’s population now have access to the internet, and by 2020 seven out of every 10 people on the planet will own a smartphone. We spend more time on our phones than any other media.
Top five countries for the local distribution of full Bibles in 2016
• Brazil 6,773,421
• China 3,514,286
• USA 2,981,407
• Nigeria 1,965,001
• India 1,897,995
Milestone for Brazil
At the end of 2016, Bible Society of Brazil reached the milestone of 150 million Bibles and New Testaments produced at its Bible Press since 1995. It’s one of the largest printing plants in the world primarily for the production of Scriptures. Executive Director Rudi Zimmer said, “In recent decades, more than in any other period, Brazilian churches have been involved in spreading the Word, making Brazil the largest field of Holy Scripture distribution around the world today.”
Full report
The full report, with comments on numerous countries seeing a sudden spike in Bible distribution in 2016 can be found here: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Bible-distribution-in-2016.pdf
United Bible Societies:
United Bible Societies is a global network of Bible Societies working in over 200 countries and territories across the world. Together, they are the world’s biggest translator, publisher and distributor of the Bible. Bible Societies are also active in areas such as HIV/AIDS prevention, trauma healing and literacy. Bible Societies work with all Christian Churches and many international non-governmental organisations. Read more: www.unitedbiblesocieties.org.

Guilt by Association: Business Leader Blocked in India — Founder of India-Based Technology Firm Denied Access to India Due to Christian Clients

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 26, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — India now ranks right behind Saudi Arabia on the Open Doors International “World Watchlist” as one of the worst countries in which to be a Christian — the result of a growing number of Hindu nationalists who see the Christian faith as an attempt to delegitimize Hinduism as India’s native religion. This growing anti-Christian sentiment in India is now starting to affect U.S. business relationships.
Mr. Thomas Sudyk, President and CEO of EC Group International, a Rockford, Michigan based technology business was surprised when his visa was flagged by the Consul General of India in Houston, which resulted in the denial of entrance into India last Fall (October 5, 2016). “When I arrived in Chennai, India, I was informed that the Houston Consulate had flagged my visa and I would not be permitted to enter India.” Mr. Sudyk explained. “For the past 17 years, I have frequently traveled to India to manage the affairs of EC Group Datasoft Pvt. Ltd. I have a 10-year multiple entry visa. Apparently,” he observed, “I was flagged because several of my clients are Christian organizations.”
On January 13, 2017, the national news reported that the government of India had blocked all foreign donations to Compassion International, a Christian organization focused on feeding impoverished children, despite the fact that over 44% of Indian children under five are underweight and 72% of its infants suffer from anemia, in fact, the World Bank estimates that India is now one of the highest ranking countries in the world for the number of children suffering from malnutrition. In March 2017 Compassion closed its operations in India after 48 years, informing tens of thousands of children that they will no longer receive meals, medical care or tuition payments. The Hindu-based nationalist mindset has so influenced the thinking of the current Indian government leaders, that they are overlooking the desperate needs of their malnourished Indian children to protect their Hindu religion.
This religious nationalism is affecting U.S. based Indian leaders also. For example, a cursory glance at the tweets of the Consulate General of India in Houston executive Anupam Ray, (@anupamifs) shows that one of his top priorities is the evangelization of the Hindu religion in Texas. He and some of his associates are also using their position to block the real or perceived threats of the advancement of Christianity in their homeland, including legitimate business people like Mr. Thomas Sudyk.
On June 26, 2017 President Trump will host India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strengthen ties between the two nations. One of the primary discussion topics will be advancing trade dialogue to create jobs in both countries. Business leaders like Tom Sudyk are hoping that President Trump will be able to defuse the religious hyper-sensitivity of the government of India so that companies like EC Group can continue to build mutually beneficial business relationships.
About EC Group: In 1999, Tom Sudyk, CEO and founder of EC Group International established e-commerce operations in Chennai, India. The vision for expanding to India served two purposes. One was to provide US companies safe access to the abundant talent India had to offer. The second purpose was to establish a company that would make a difference to the people it touched. These values have created a competitive advantage by attracting and retaining some of the best talent in the industry.

GuideStar Urged by 41 Conservative Leaders to Cease Using SPLC’s Defamatory Labels

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Family Research Council, along with a coalition of forty-one conservative leaders and organizations, released a letter sent to GuideStar USA “to express our strong disagreement with GuideStar’s newly implemented policy that labels 46 American organizations as ‘hate groups.'” GuideStar bills itself as a neutral organization that seeks to “gather and disseminate information about every single IRS-registered nonprofit organization.”

Recently, GuideStar began using the Southern Poverty Law Center’s defamatory “hate group” label on profiles of 46 non-profit organizations, including FRC’s GuideStar page.

The letter reads, in part:

“The SPLC has no bona fides to make such determinations. It is not a governmental organization using a rigorous criteria to create its lists, and it is not a scientifically oriented organization. The SPLC is merely another ‘progressive’ political organization.

“The ‘hate group’ list is nothing more than a political weapon targeting people it deems to be its political enemies. The list is ad hoc, partisan, and agenda-driven. The SPLC doesn’t even pretend to identify groups on the political left that engage in ‘hate.’ Mosques or Islamist groups that promote radical speech inciting anti-Semitism and actual violence are not listed by the SPLC even though many have been publicly identified after terrorist attacks. Radical, violent leftist environmentalists or speech suppressing thugs — like the rioting “antifa” movement — receive no mention from the SPLC.

“Can it be of any surprise then that SPLC’s hate map was used by a political activist and domestic terrorist to perpetrate the very sort of hate crimes SPLC claims to oppose? In 2012, a shooter entered the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, D.C., to ‘kill as many as possible’ because SPLC had identified FRC as a ‘hate group,’ and the killer-to-be relied on SPLC’s website to identify targets, according to his sworn testimony. The SPLC continues to list on its website people such as House Majority Whip Steve Scalise who was recently shot by James T. Hodgkinson who ‘liked’ SPLC’s Facebook page. Does it not concern you that within the past five years, the SPLC has been linked to gunmen who carried out two terrorist shootings in the DC area?

“…We think it is a reasonable point that an aggressive political partisan like the SPLC should not be allowed to be the judge and jury of its opponents’ character and motivations. The fact that the SPLC only targets groups on the political right supports this contention. As Karl Zinsmeister notes, while it is entirely acceptable to disagree vigorously with one’s political opponents, it is ‘utterly unfair to insist they are hate criminals.’ He reproduces a statement made by SPLC’s Mark Potok: ‘Sometimes the press will describe us as monitoring hate crimes and so on…. I want to say plainly that our aim in life is to destroy these groups, to completely destroy them.'”

To read the full letter, please see: downloads.frc.org/EF/EF17F36.pdf