Rumors of Imminent Execution of Iranian Pastor Unconfirmed: Lawyers for Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is awaiting a final decision on his death sentence, have not received official communication from authorities that their client will be executed. Rumors of an imminent execution of Yousef Nadarkhani were leaked last week after a source close to one of his lawyers contacted international media, informing them that a lower court had signed Nadarkhani’s execution papers and that his death sentence would be carried out soon. Compass Direct News reported that, according to their sources, Nadarkhani was confirmed to be alive as of February 24th. We continue to pray for his safety. Read more>>

Washington Silent on China’s Snub of Religious Freedom Envoy: Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, was denied a visa to China earlier this month. Washington was silent about the snub of the State Department official prior to  the visit of Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping last week. The silence from Washington was deafening according to Open Doors Advocacy Director, Lindsay Vessey, “This is basically demonstrating to the Chinese government that religious freedom really isn’t that important to this administration, that they’re not willing to stick their neck out and speak publicly.”  Read more>>

Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom: The Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom asks each candidate to commit to making domestic and international religious liberty a priority in his or her administration. We are eager to have all candidates sign on to this important pledge. You can help this effort by signing a petition that urges all candidates to sign the pledge. Take a moment to sign the petition now. To learn more please go to www.pledgeforreligiousfreedom.com

“War on Christians” is Newsweek Cover Story: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s article The Global War on Christians in the Muslim World was the cover story for Newsweek in their February 6th edition. In her article she states that in the wake of the Arab Spring “a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm.” Read more>>

Korea Announces Plan to Release Prisoners: North Korea has announced the amnesty of prisoners to commemorate deceased leaders Kim ll-Sung and Kim Jong-ll. 2012 is the 100th birthday (in April) of Kim ll-Sung, who died in 1994, and the 70th birthday (in February) anniversary of his son, who passed away last December.  Only prisoners that have been “re-educated” are eligible to be released.  Religious and political dissidents are unlikely to be among the released prisoners as they are deemed “uncurable.” Read more>>

Churches Forced to Stop Farsi Worship in Iran: On February 10th Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Farsi-language worship on Fridays to discontinue these services. Emmanuel Protestant Church and St. Peter’s Evangelical Church were the last two official churches offering Farsi-language services on Fridays in Tehran. Friday services in Tehran attracted the city’s converts to Christianity as well as Muslims interested in Christianity, as Friday is most Iranians’ day off during the week. Authorities told the churches they can hold the services on Sunday, a working day when most Iranians are not able to attend. Read more>>

Features

Payable on Death – P.O.D.

A Voice of Life

Almost 27 years after the band's first studio album, P.O.D.'s message is arguably more important than ever. "I believe (our message) is even more relevant now than it was then. If you really listen to 'Youth of the Nation,' we still have these tragedies going on. There’s a lot of searching still going on out there."

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Seaway's Big Fall

Planned for the summer, 'Big Vibe' was moved to the Fall as COVID swept the nation. It turns out, the vibes were exactly the breath of fresh air we needed. HM contributing writer Danielle Martin talks with Seaway vocalist Ryan Locke about the band's new era, how they formed their sound for 2020, and why Harry Styles belongs in their lives.

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