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“Our hope is in Jesus”Prayer March 2020 at National Mall

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Washington : Tens of thousands of people attended a prayer rally Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

The large crowd gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and stretched along the sides of the reflecting pool.

Rev. Franklin Graham said he organized the rally to pray for God to heal America, because he says the nation is hurting, people are divided and there’s fear and uncertainty.

“Our Father and our God, we come to say thank you. But father our country is in trouble. We need your help,” Graham prayed.

He also prayed for President Donald Trump ahead of his Supreme Court nominee announcement set for Friday evening.

“And today, Father, as he makes an announcement, as to who will fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court, Father, give him wisdom to make your choice for our nation and the impact that can have for years to come,” Graham prayed.

Vice President Mike Pence also spoke at the rally, and requested prayers regarding the Supreme Court vacancy.

“Pray for all the members of the Congress of the United States. Pray for all of our justices on the Supreme Court, including the remarkable woman that the President will nominate to fill the seat on the Supreme Court later today,” Pence said.

The president is expected to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court, after Ginsburg’s recent passing.

Pence also asked rallygoers to pray for those affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“And in these challenging times, in the wake of a global pandemic, we urge you to pray for all those who are struggling with loss and with serious illness. Pray for our doctors and all those bringing America through this challenging time,” Pence said.

The crowd later marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol.

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Christians in Nepal Continue to Face a Context of Growing Persecution

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Nepal– Persecution in Nepal continues to be an increasing concern for the growing Christian population of the predominantly Hindu country. The Global Press Journal recently published an article discussing the story of Pastor Hari Tamang, a current example of this persecution. Pastor Tamang has been falsely charged with trafficking children and attempted conversions after he had agreed to shelter children who would have otherwise been put on the street because their former shelter could not help them any longer. Although the trafficking charges were dropped, Tamang is still years later fighting the charges of attempted conversion of the children.

Nepalese law allows for the free exercise of one’s religion but forbids the conversion of others. This has produced a context of growing tensions in the society. The Nepalese Christian community says that they are holding fast to the principle that Christ calls His followers to share their faith, but choosing to follow Him is an individual choice, not something to be forced on anyone. Nevertheless, this community is consistently accused of forcefully converting.

Similar cases to that of Pastor Tamang have become more common throughout Nepal as the growth of Christianity as skyrocketed. Advocacy organizations estimate that Christians now number between 2 and 3 million throughout Nepal, comprising a larger portion of the Nepalese population than ever before. Nepal’s churches number between 10,000 and 12,000 across the country.

In neighboring India, similar anti-forced conversion laws have been implemented in several states across the country with similar penalties. India, however, has been leading the way in persecuting religious minorities – a trend that only encourages the predominantly Hindu country of Nepal to take similar actions.

The Church also conducts a good deal of aid distribution in communities of need throughout Nepal, which also raises the suspicions of local authorities and devout Hindus who see it as a ploy for conversions. In other words, the charitable actions of the Church are viewed with suspicion. Regardless of this, the Church continues their mission and remains adamant that no forced conversions are taking place, arguing that they are simply fulfilling the teachings of their faith in aiding and serving the poor. The free exercise of religion for Christians means doing exactly that.
Sources:persecution

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A Catholic priest Fr. Regalado has been shot dead in the Philippines

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A Filipino Catholic priest, Fr. Rene Bayang Regalado, was killed on Sunday by a group of gunmen in the town of Malaybalay, in the southern archipelago island of Mindanao.

Fr. Regalado, 42, was found dead at around 8:00 pm along a road near the Malaybalay Carmel Monastery in Patpat village. His body had a bruise near his left eye and a white shoelace was tied on his left hand.

Many believe that Fr. Regalado was returning to the St. John XXIII College Seminary where he was staying.

Killed by unknown gunmen
A statement issued on Monday by the diocese of Malaybalay indicates, according to the initial information gathered, that gunshots were heard on the road near the Malaybalay Carmel Monastery, Patpat, around 7:30 pm on Sunday, prompting the monastery to call the police for assistance.

Soon after, first responders from the local police arrived at the scene of the crime and conducted an initial investigation. Fr. Regalado’s body was then taken to a funeral home in preparation for an autopsy. His car was also taken to the Philippine National Police Headquarters as part of an ongoing official investigation.

Fr. Regalado will be buried at the Malaybalay Catholic cemetery on a date to be determine.Ordained to the priesthood on 18 October 2007, Fr. Regalado finished his baccalaureate degree in Theology at San Isidro College.

He had his pre-college and college seminary formation at St. John XXIII pre-college and college Seminaries in Malaybalay City. He finished his studies in theology at the St. John Mary Vianney Theological Seminary in Camama-an, Cagayan de Oro City.

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