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Beloved Anglican pastor killed in crash with daughter mourned across denominations

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The Rev. Thomas McKenzie, a beloved Anglican pastor who founded the Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, Tennessee, is being mourned by Christians across denominational lines after he was killed with his daughter Charlie in a tragic rear-end crash with a tractor-trailer Monday morning.

Tennessee Highway Patrol confirmed that the crash happened around 9:50 a.m. Monday, according to WKRN. The wreck occurred just 30 minutes after the 50-year-old pastor announced on social media that he was on his way to New Mexico with his 22-year-old daughter, who was about to begin her senior year at St. John’s College.

“First day of sabbatical. Driving with my kid to New Mexico. Charlie’s senior year at St John’s College, Santa Fe campus. Today’s goal? Shamrock, Texas,” he noted on Facebook.

Authorities say the crash happened on I-40 westbound at mile marker 178. The tractor-trailer driver was reportedly slowing down due to traffic when the pastor’s Nissan Versa rear-ended the tractor-trailer while changing lanes. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

Rev. McKenzie, who leaves behind his wife and another daughter Sophie McKenzie, revealed on Twitter Sunday Morning how excited he was for his road trip but opined about how much he would miss his church family.

“Today is my last day of work before my sabbatical begins,” he tweeted. “I’m excited about my upcoming travels, but I know I’ll miss my community. I feel sadness and some anxiety as I prepare for this morning’s Eucharists.”

In an email statement to congregants following the founding pastor’s death, Church of the Redeemer Associate Pastor Kenny Benge said the congregation’s sadness was “deep.”

“Thomas was just beginning his well-deserved sabbatical. Thomas’ wife Laura and their daughter Sophie are now home in Nashville,” Benge wrote. “Please keep Laura and Sophie in your prayers as they navigate this agonizing time. I and the staff, as well as the broader leadership of the church, are shocked and deeply saddened, as I’m sure you are as well in hearing this news.”

Russell Moore, the former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission who is now a public theologian with Christianity Today, was a good friend of the late pastor. Moore publicly mourned McKenzie on Twitter as a “great and faithful and kind man.”

“All of us who loved this great and faithful and kind man are grieving. @thomasmckenzie ministered to countless of us of various denominations, and we all respected him,” Moore wrote in one tweet. “Pray for his family and church at this moment of great sadness.”

On Tuesday morning, Moore elaborated on his experience with McKenzie in a series of tweets.

“Several years ago, my friend Randall Goodgame asked @russramsey1 @thomasmckenzie and me to do an episode of @slugsandbugsofficial on ‘An Anglican, a Baptist, and a Presbyterian Walk into a Monkey Bar.’ We sat in kids’ chairs, at a kids’ table, literally coloring with crayons and playing with Play-Doh, while talking about Jesus’ call to childlikeness. We were goofing off, making jokes. But it also happened to be the worst day of my life until that point. I drove there from a horrific meeting and was in great pain,” Moore revealed.

“What I remember about that day is the way father Thomas, @russramsey and @randallgoodgame stood around, laying hands on me and praying for me. And then Thomas told a dry joke that made me laugh. When this Baptist was facing some awful stuff from (some of) my own people, the Anglican and the Presbyterian were brothers to me.”

Moore said the “childlikeness” he experienced that day “had nothing to do with the crayons or the swing set.”

“I’ve thought about that day a lot over [the] last 24 hrs,” Moore stressed. “I keep remembering his gravity and his care. He’s the only man I ever looked up to for his maturity and grace while shooting water pistols at each other. He took time in that moment [to] help me w the strength to go on. I can only imagine the ministry for those in his parish. No wonder there is such grief all around the country by Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and beyond.”

Congregant Susan Williams confirmed Moore’s assessment of McKenzie’s ministry in a post on Facebook in which she revealed the death of her pastor broke her heart “into a million, zillion pieces.”

“Father Thomas gave me hope, that godly men would rise up, and call corruption what it was, and point us all back to the salvation available through our magnificent, compassionate, gracious God. He called sin, sin, but caused me to wonder at the immeasurable grace of God that reaches out to us in our weakness, enveloping us in forgiveness and mercy,” Williams wrote.

“I pray I will never forget the lesson he taught last Sunday, on the humility that holds the person who aspires to be useful in the Kingdom together. May humility always characterize me, and compassion, and gratefulness for the grace, and mercy, and love of my blessed Redeemer, who paid the highest price to buy my soul back out of slavery to sin.”

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Elderly Eritrean Pastors Continue to Suffer in Prison

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Eritrea – Two pastors who were arrested and imprisoned by the Eritrean government in July are still being held in prison, sources with knowledge of the situation told ICC. Both in their mid-seventies, Pastor Girmay Araya and Pastor Samuel Okbamichael were arrested in the middle of the night before being taken to the Wengel Mermera interrogation center run by the Ministry of Justice in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.

Both pastors were largely retired from the ministry when they were arrested, raising questions about why they were targeted. Eritrea has a long history of targeting religious figures and is currently detaining many others pastors.

Called “Africa’s North Korea” by some, Eritrea is a one-party state ruled by an oppressive, totalitarian government that is openly hostile to religion. Religious prisoners are often subjected to long or indefinite terms in prisons where they suffer unimaginably inhumane conditions.

Former prisoners at Mai Serwa, another prison in Asmara, report being held in shipping containers, each holding 8-22 detainees and extremely susceptible to the extreme weather swings of the desert around them. According to the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR), “inmates are subjected to total darkness, which increases their suffering. A torture chamber made of concrete is reportedly located at the back of the containers. [One] detainee… was interrogated and tortured four nights per week for two months.”

“Individuals who are arrested for religious reasons are systematically subjected to ill-treatment and torture,” the OHCR said. “It is common practice to coerce renunciation of faith.”

Despite its similarities to North Korea, Eritrea seems to have largely managed to escape that country’s penchant for attracting sanctions. In fact, the U.S. is actually lifting sanctions off of the country. However commendable this may be from a diplomatic or economic perspective, it is important that the U.S. not lose sight of the real, systematic abuses at play in Eritrea. It should continue to pressure Eritrea, including through targeted sanctions designed to force behavior change at every level of the abusive system.

“If it does decide to improve relations with Eritrea, the U.S. must use that closeness to pressure the country to begin respecting human rights,” said Jay Church, ICC’s Advocacy Manager for Africa. “A thorough rehauling of its judicial system, the abolishment of its horrendous penal system and the creation of a professional one in its place, and respect for religious freedom would be a good place to start.”
Sources:persecution

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ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോകറന്‍സികള്‍ക്ക് സമ്പൂർണ വിലക്ക്,ലോകത്തെ ഞെട്ടിച്ച് ചൈന

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ബീജിങ്: ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോ കറന്‍സികള്‍ക്ക് സമ്പൂര്‍ണ നിരോധനവുമായി ചൈന രംഗത്ത്. ലോകത്ത് ആദ്യമായാണ് ഒരു രാജ്യം ഇക്കാര്യത്തില്‍ ഇത്രയും കടുത്ത തീരുമാനവുമായി രംഗത്ത് വരുന്നത്. ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോകറന്‍സികളും അവയുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട എല്ലാ ഇടപാടുകളും നിയമവിരുദ്ധമായി പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തിട്ടുണ്ട് ചൈന.

ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോകറന്‍സികളുടെ കാര്യത്തില്‍ തീരെ ഉദാരമല്ലാത്ത സമീപനം ആണ് ചൈന സ്വീകരിച്ചുവരുന്നത്. ഇതുസംബന്ധിച്ച് ചൈനയുടെ പല നിയന്ത്രണങ്ങളും നേരത്തേ തന്നെ ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോ വിപണിയെ വലിയ തോതില്‍ ബാധിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തിരുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍, ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ നീക്കം ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോവിപണികളുടെ അടിത്തറ തന്നെ ഇളക്കിയേക്കും. ചൈനീസ് തീരുമാനം വന്നതിന് പിറകെ ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോകറന്‍സികളുടെ മൂല്യത്തില്‍ വലിയ ഇടിവും സംഭവിച്ചു.

ചൈനയുടെ കേന്ദ്ര ബാങ്ക് ആയ പീപ്പിള്‍സ് ബാങ്ക് ഓഫ് ചൈനയാണ് ഇക്കാര്യത്തില്‍ കൃത്യമായ നിര്‍ദ്ദേശങ്ങള്‍ പുറപ്പെടുവിച്ചിട്ടുള്ളത്. ക്രിപറ്റോകറന്‍സികളുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട് എല്ലാ ഇടപാടുകളും നിയമവിരുദ്ധമായിരിക്കുമെന്നും നിര്‍ബന്ധമായും നിരോധിക്കപ്പെടേണ്ടതാണെന്നും ബാങ്ക് അവരുടെ വെബ്‌സൈറ്റ് മുഖേന വ്യക്തമാക്കിക്കഴിഞ്ഞു. ബിറ്റ്‌കോയിന്‍ എന്നോ, എഥേറിയം എന്നോ ടെഥര്‍ എന്നോ വ്യത്യാസമില്ലാത്തെ എല്ലാ ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോ കറന്‍സികള്‍ക്കും ഇത് ബാധകമായിരിക്കും.

ചൈനക്കാരുടെ കൈവശമുള്ളവരുടെ ബിറ്റ്‌കോയിനുകള്‍ക്ക് ഇനി എന്ത് സംഭവിക്കും എന്നത് സംബന്ധിച്ച ചര്‍ച്ചകളും പുരോഗമിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുകയാണ്. ചൈനയിലെ താമസക്കാര്‍ക്ക് ഓഫ്‌ഷോര്‍ എക്‌സ്‌ചേഞ്ചുകള്‍ വഴി നല്ഡകപ്പെട്ടിരുന്ന ക്രിപ്‌റ്റോ സേവനങ്ങള്‍ കൂടി നിരോധനത്തിന്റെ പരിധിയില്‍ വരുന്ന സാഹചര്യത്തിലാണ് ഇത്തരം ഒരു ആശങ്ക ഉയര്‍ന്നിരിക്കുന്നത്.
Sources:globalindiannews

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