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Sudanese Christian Mother Meriam Ibrahim to Arrive in New Hampshire This Week

Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim (center) and her family meets Pope Francis after escaping death in Sudan on Thursday.

After arriving in the United States, Ibrahim’s family is likely to visit Washington, D.C. first to thank those who contributed to their release, The Associated Press reports, quoting her brother-in-law, Gabriel Wani, who lives in Manchester with his wife and their three daughters.

Ibrahim and her family — her husband, Daniel Wani, their son, Martin, and their daughter, Maya, who was born in prison in Sudan just two months ago — will settle in Manchester, which is home to a Sudanese Christian community and church.

Ibrahim and her family flew from Sudan to Italy last Thursday, and Gabriel has spoken with her family by phone several times since then.

Ibrahim’s husband, Daniel, is a naturalized U.S. citizen. “His plan all along was to bring his family to New Hampshire,” Gabriel told KSAT 12. “I was crying. He said they were coming to New Hampshire. This is his place now,” Gabriel said of a phone call he received from his brother.

Members of the southern Sudanese community in Manchester plan to receive Ibrahim’s family at the airport, and the Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church is preparing to host a welcome reception for them.

Since Ibrahim’s release, southern Sudanese people have been visiting Gabriel’s home. “A lot of people have been waiting for them,” Gabriel was quoted as saying. “The whole community wants to welcome them.”

The two brothers and their sister, Mary, were among the first southern Sudanese refugees to resettle in Manchester. Daniel is board chairman of the South Sudan Community of New Hampshire, a nonprofit that provides translators, English classes, tuition for children and outreach services.

While Ibrahim’s death sentence was overturned by a court a few weeks ago, she was arrested again on June 24 while she and her family were trying to leave Sudan to go to the United States. She was eventually released and allowed to leave the country.

Ibrahim was convicted on April 30, and was given three days to recant her Christian faith on May 11. “The court has sentenced you to be hanged until you are dead,” Judge Abaas Al Khalifa told her on May 15 after she refused to forsake Christianity.

Ibrahim was accused by her Muslim relatives, and sent to jail on Feb. 17. She was kept at the Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison in North Khartoum with her son.

Ibrahim’s father was a Sudanese Muslim who left her when she was just 6 years old. She was raised by her mother, an Ethiopian Orthodox. However, Sudan’s Islamic law recognized her as a Muslim because her father was one. It also considered her relationship with her Christian husband as “illicit.”

After her release and departure from Sudan, Ibrahim met with Pope Francis in the Casa Santa Marta, accompanied by her husband and two children, according to the Official Vatican Network, NEWS.VA. Italian Deputy Foreign Minister, Lapo Pistelli, who helped arrange her flight from Sudan and traveled with her to Italy, was also present at the meeting.

Father Federico Lombardi, SJ, head of the Vatican Press Office, said the meeting happened in a “very serene and affectionate” environment. Pope Francis praised Ibrahim for her “courageous witness to perseverance in the Faith.”

APN Leaders Return from Ukraine Summit

PHILADELPHIA—The crisis in Ukraine turned even more deadly last week with the downing of a passenger jetliner and killing of the nearly 300 on board. Initial reports point to the plane’s being shot by a surface-to-air missile coming from Ukraine territory held by pro-Russian separatists.

As the turmoil in Ukraine intensifies, the American Pastors Network (APN, recently returned from an International Leadership Summit in that country, where they taught Ukrainian pastoral and elected leaders the principles that made America a great nation. At the summit were approximately 15 key government officials from the Executive and Legislative branches, including top advisors to the office of Speaker and President as well as heads of government agencies and departments.

Also present were key pastors representing over 10,000 churches in Ukraine – some of whom are the lead officials of the largest denominations in the country.

“The American Pastors Network was invited to Ukraine because leaders in that nation understand that America became a great nation because America was built on a Biblical foundation, and they want that foundation for their own nation,” said APN President Sam Rohrer. “At the summit, APN and its speakers presented the Biblical principles of authority, government, law, jurisdiction, ethics, integrity, and what it means to have a righteous government. These principles refer heavily to the American experience, to the view of our founders, and to the principles that drove the writing of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution.”

Rohrer added that the Ukrainian leaders who spoke at the summit confirmed their desire to establish a righteous government free of corruption and bribery and one that would recognize and protect the basic and inalienable rights granted by God.

“The leaders we spoke with made it clear that they want what made America great, not what is currently motivating and directing our nation, which is anything but a firm adherence to Biblical or constitutional principles in government or in life,” he said.

APN was invited to the summit by Presiding Bishop Valery Reshetinsky, who also serves as the Chairman of the Ukrainian Interchurch Council that represents 20 different evangelical denominations. Among the summit organizers were Ukrainian elected officials and government staff members, some of whom are directly involved in the writing of new laws, some of whom are involved in the enforcement of the laws and some of whom are in key advisory positions.

Pastor Dale Armstrong of Church of the Word in Lancaster, Pa, orchestrated APN’s on-the-ground involvement in the summit, and he emphasized the significance of the summit happening at this particular time.

“Every day in the news, we are seeing, hearing and reading reports of crisis in Ukraine,” Armstrong said. “Yet, in the middle of that crisis there are men and women who understand that the only way to establish a truly free and prosperous nation is not simply through building a nation based on military victory but through building a nation based on the foundation of God’s Word and His eternal truth. It was sobering to see that even as many in America reject this truth, many in Ukraine are sacrificing in pursuit of it.”

APN speakers discussed the Biblical and constitutional principles needed to establish sound public policies, and various Q&A sessions allowed for discussion on implementing those principles.

“The people of Ukraine have demonstrated that they long for freedom, and they recognize that freedom is not the default condition in life,” Rohrer added. “America became a free and great nation not by accident but because we acknowledged God, recognized our dependence on Him, sought His guidance and built our government on Biblical principles. The people of Ukraine want this Biblically based freedom, and APN is honored to help them understand what’s required to achieve it.  Our desire now is to see our own American politicians and pastors encouraged to fight to keep the freedoms we have here, rather than allowing them to be dismantled by government officials who have rejected the principles of freedom that made America the beacon of hope for all the world.”

Whose Fault Is the Gaza Bloodshed? A Liberal Host and a Conservative Journalist Are Surprisingly In-Sync on the Answer.

It’s the question that brought a conservative journalist and a far-left TV host to agreement: who is to blame for the civilian deaths in Gaza?

“I see on the news every night lots of reports, and it’s very sad, we all feel horrible about them, of Palestinian civilians who are dying, including children,” said Bill Maher on his HBO show “Real Time” on Friday. ”Nobody seems to ask, ‘Whose fault is that mostly?’”

Maher laid the blame at the feet of Hamas.

“I feel terrible for a Palestinian child who dies,” Maher said, “but if it’s your father, your brother, your uncle who’s firing those rockets into Israel, who’s fault is it really? Do you really expect the Israelis not to retaliate?”

“I don’t think you can understand the conflict without reading Hamas’ charter,” chimed in Daily Caller senior editor Jamie Weinstein. “[The charter] calls for not only the destruction of Israel, but the murder of Jews generally.”

At multiple points, the audience cheered suggestions that Hamas was in the wrong, including when one panelist quoted conservative Charles Krauthammer’s piece which noted that the Israelis use missiles to protect their civilians, while Hamas uses civilians to protect their missiles.

“If the Hamas people had the opportunity, they would kill the maximum number of Israelis, which would be all [of them], and Israel has the opportunity to kill way more [Palestinians] and they do not,” Maher said.

“There’s no question that if Hamas, as you said, could, they would wipe Israel off the map,” Weinstein agreed.

Maher took things a step further, saying that the Israelis consistently triumph over Muslim adversaries because of a Jewish belief in science.

“Jews have, I think, 155 Nobel Prizes, Muslims have two,” he said. “That seems like kind of a big advantage for team Hebrew.”

The Second Mark of God’s Judgment on America

Immediately following the dedication of the temple, Solomon prayed for God’s intervention in seven circumstances of future national need. In each case, he implored God for His commitment that if the people were to repent, God would hear from heaven and forgive their sin.

As Solomon continued his prayer (in II Chronicles 6:22-23), he asked God to intervene during judicial hearings to ensure that the guilty party was punished and that the innocent was rewarded. Solomon anticipated a time – due to national sin – that government would sanction injustice rather than justice. Just as Solomon anticipated this disregard for justice in a nation that turned its back on God, Isaiah also prophesied, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street and equity or justice cannot enter.”(Isaiah 59:14).

In our nation, the subverting of truth and justice is becoming more prevalent.

Our country was founded on the belief that the primary purpose of government (as stated in Romans 13) is to enact God’s justice by praising those who do right and punishing those who do evil.

The failure to rule justly, and even worse to officially sanction what God calls evil, is defiance to Almighty God. Although, the subversion of justice is an indication of the withdrawal of God’s blessing, it is also one of God’s warning signs to call us back to Him before final judgment comes.

Truth has indeed fallen in the street and justice stands far off – when the killing of the unborn is declared a woman’s right, when God’s definition of marriage is ruled unconstitutional, when Christian businesses are penalized because they follow God’s law, when Christian organizations are labelled as ‘threats’ to our nation, and when, in general, the rule of law is rejected. Solomon knew the progression of a nation’s sin would produce a distortion of justice where good would be declared evil, and evil declared to be good. Have you considered that governmentally sanctioned injustice is a ‘warning sign’ of God’s judgment? The next 5 marks of national judgment are progressively more obvious. When will we open our eyes and ears to God’s shouts of warning to our nation?

This is the third in an eight part series, “Can We Know if God’s Judgment is on America? – The Background to Understanding God’s Promise in II Chronicles 7:14”.