News Update - September 2014

Andrew Klavan Hired to Write Script for Gosnell
The producers of the movie about convicted killer and abortionist Kermit Gosnell have hired bestselling and award-winning novelist and screenwriter Andrew Klavan to write its screenplay.

Husband-and-wife filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, along with Magda Segieda, decided to make a film about Gosnell because they believed nobody else in liberal-leaning Hollywood would. They call Gosnell "America's biggest serial killer"- but he's also one of the least known. The Gosnell case caused much ire and disgust within pro-life and conservative circles, but barely sparked interest from mainstream media.

During the crowd-funding phase (in which over $2 million was raised from more than 27,000 donors), the filmmakers sent out press releases to Klavan and several other writers. He shot a response back "within seconds," calling the project "the best story I've ever heard for a movie" and a "stroke of genius." But over the next few weeks, Klavan started thinking he would actually be a good candidate to write the script-after all, he is a crime and thriller writer, whose novel True Crime was made into a movie starring and directed by Clint Eastwood. He's also a brassy conservative who doesn't mince words about Hollywood's liberal takeover of popular culture, penning several controversial columns and opinion pieces on the subject.

Klavan said that as the Gosnell trial was unfolding, he was most "appalled" by the barren media section at the courtroom: "I thought, How is that possible? What were they thinking?' I really followed the press' responsibility at the time. That seems to be the core of the story: it's really this almost conspiracy of silence-not just the press, but the state and local officials as well."

That "wall of silence" is the angle Klavan will be pursuing while writing the script. "There's always going to be evil people like Gosnell," he said. "But they only thrive when regular, decent, normal people work to protect them."

Religion News Service

27 Saudis Arrested for Practicing Christianity at Home Church
A home in Saudi Arabia was raided by authorities September 5; authorities arrested 27 people in the house, accusing them of practicing Christianity. Saudi law prevents the practice of any religion other than Islam. 

The Saudi Gazette reported, "The Haia members who stormed the house found the men, women and children engaged in religious rituals in one of the rooms." Bibles and musical instruments were also seized. A tip from a Saudi citizen accusing the house of "suspicious activities" prompted the raid.

"The raid is another part of an ongoing harassment campaign directed at Christians at the exact same time that the Saudi kingdom is making a major interfaith outreach' push internationally," Patrick Poole of P.J. Media said. 

U. S. Representative Frank Wolf said that he hopes the U.S. "will speak up" about the house raid and subsequent arrests. 

Christian Headlines

Bhutan Pastor Sentenced for Accepting Ministry Funds
A Bhutanese pastor has been sentenced to 11 months in prison for receiving donations for his ministry. Serving in the landlocked country in South Asia located at the eastern end of the Himalayas, Pastor Tandin Yangwal allegedly received $11,864 in contributions from a foreign Christian organization.

"Wangyal was convicted under Article 71 of the Civil Society Organization Act of Bhutan, which outlaws raising funds for activities in contravention of the laws of the country' and without prior permission. The pastors were arrested in Khapdani village, Dorokha area in Samtse District, on March 5," according to the Morning Star News.

Sources claim the Dorokha, Samtse District court ruled Yangwal used the funds for training and to share the Gospel, which is against the law in the Buddhist nation. The Voice of the Martyrs reports that Christians once enjoyed a "measure of freedom beginning in 1965," but established tighter restriction in 1990.

While Yangwal has ten days to refute the ruling, he reported to Morning Star News he has already filed an appeal to the Samtse District Court.

Christian Headlines

Ibrahim: "I Knew God Would Stand by My Side"
Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim has spoken out about the persecution and suffering she endured while imprisoned for her faith. Ibrahim was granted asylum in the United States in August, but spent months in prison for apostasy charges prior to her release into safety. 

Though Ibrahim suffered in prison, and was even forced to give birth to her daughter in chains, she says that she knew God was with her. "The situation was difficult but I was sure that God would stand by my side. I relied only on my faith and I knew that God would stand by me at any time, in any situation," Ibrahim said. 

Ibrahim was imprisoned for her Christian faith because the nation believed she should practice the same faith as her estranged father, a Muslim. Ibrahim argued that her mother was a Christian and she had practiced Christianity her entire life. "I knew that God would help me, that God knew that I was a victim of injustice. It is my right to be able to practice the religion I choose," Ibrahim said. 

Ibrahim is now safe in New Hampshire with her husband, a U.S. citizen, and two young children. She says that she still needs prayer as she adjusts to the new life. Ibrahim also thanked Christians around the world for the support and prayers on her behalf.

Christian Headlines

Kurdish Forces Taking Back Christian Villages as More Christians Join Fight

Fighting continues across Iraq and Syria, as Kurdish forces attempt to force Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists out of the region and regain control. Christian Today reports that Kurdish forces are beginning to see some success, as seven Christian villages were taken back from ISIS authority. 

United States airstrikes reportedly aided the Kurdish forces as the troops regained control.

A Catholic cleric confirmed the report saying, "The peshmerga [Kurdish militia] managed to liberate several villages[ISIS] militants have now fled from there." 

At the same time, more Christians are joining Kurdish troops in an effort to defeat the Muslim extremists. Christian men ages 18-30 are being recruited for the cause after Christians leaders requested permission for members of their community to fight. 

Christian Headlines

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