Missions Catalyst

Subscribe to Missions Catalyst feedMissions Catalyst
World Missions News, Ideas, and Resources
Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

Turkey: Tell Me The Truth! Dead or Alive?

Source: Voice of the Martyrs Radio, January 14, 2023

“Tell me the truth! Dead or alive?”

When Susanne Geske heard the answer to that question—that her husband, Tilmann, had been murdered along with two Turkish Christians, Necati Aydin and Ugur Yüksel—she was overwhelmed with shock. The Geskes had been in Turkey (now called Türkiye) for 10 years. It’s a Muslim country, and they knew there was some risk for Christians. But she never thought their family would be affected.

The five murderers—ages 19 and 20—were arrested at the scene of the crime. Turkish media members rushed to Malatya to report on the “missionary massacre,” and they wanted to interview Susanne. She didn’t know what to say when they came to her door the day after her husband had been martyred.

Praying, she asked, “Lord what should I say?”

The Holy Spirit answered with the words of Christ on the cross: “Forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.” Though Turkish media often paint Christians as an enemy, with the Lord’s help Susanne used this opportunity to share the gospel of forgiveness and the love of Jesus, the reason she could forgive men who killed her husband. Her living example of forgiveness was broadcast all over Turkey.

Read the full story and listen to Susanne on the VOM podcast (24 minutes).

VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton also wrote about meeting Susanne and Semse in Turkey after the murder of their husbands in his book, When Faith Is Forbidden (Moody Publishers). We also see that VOM is now offering free streaming of their two-hour movie, Sabina: Tortured for Christ.

Jamaica: The Surprising Story of America’s First Missionary

Source: God Reports, January 30, 2023

George Liele, a former black slave, sailed for Jamaica to reach the lost in 1782, 11 years ahead of heralded British missionary William Carey and long before American Adoniram Judson sailed to India (and later Burma) in 1812.

Liele was a slave in Georgia who received Jesus into his heart in 1773 under the coaxing of his master, Henry Sharp, at the local Baptist church. He was ordained on May 20, 1775, becoming the first officially recognized black preacher in the Colonies. Seeing the anointing on Liele’s life, his master freed him from slavery.

Pastor Liele migrated to Jamaica with the help of British colonel Moses Kirkland. Landing at Kingston, Liele and his wife, Hannah, planted a church there by preaching among the slaves of Jamaica.

He served for 10 fruitful years but also faced severe opposition from the slave owners, who cynically viewed his preaching as agitating the slaves, and even was thrown in jail for a time.

Liele didn’t limit his outreach to people of color. As a result of his ministry, people from all sorts of ethnicities became believers in Jamaica. By 1838, Jamaica had 20,000 believing Baptists.

Read the full story.

These days it isn’t hard to find information about George Liele and other once-obscure pioneering missionaries. A somewhat longer biography with references points out that like many other slaves, Liele had sided with the British during the American Revolution. That (and not just missionary zeal) led to his decision to become an indentured servant to pay for his family’s passage to Jamaica (Boston University).

Panama: A Persistent Dream to Bring People God’s Word

Source: Wycliffe Bible Translators, January 18, 2023

Nearly 40 years ago, three missionaries began Bible translation work for the Border Kuna people of Panama. The missionaries were a light in the community, sharing their faith and making significant progress translating the New Testament into the Border Kuna language. But tragically, the missionaries were kidnapped in 1993. The community mourned the loss of their friends, and soon also realized that their translated New Testament was in jeopardy. But God continued to provide for the Border Kuna.

Wycliffe missionaries arrived in Panama in the mid-90s to finish the New Testament translation work. While the Border Kuna people were thrilled to receive their New Testament, they were also disappointed when translation efforts on the Old Testament halted. The Border Kuna people’s hope for a full Bible might have seemed to be on hold—but one community member was persistent.

Dario Pizarro was one of the first Christians and Bible translation advocates in his community. From an early age, Dario had a dream: to have the full Bible in his language. And he did not relent. In 2018, Dario went to a local missionary agency and asked for their help translating the Old Testament into Border Kuna.

Read the full story—an encouraging testament to the power of perseverance and collaboration. See also God on the Move: Accelerated Impact Through Bible Translation Today. Praise God for the exponential growth of Bible translation.

You might also enjoy The Woman Who Gave the World A Thousand Names for God (“how a British linguist and a failed Nigerian coup changed everything about Bible translation”) from Christianity Today.

Pakistan: More Than 100 Killed in Revenge Suicide Bombing

Source: Mission Network News, January 31, 2023

More than 100 people are dead and 217 wounded after a suicide bomber struck a mosque in Pakistan on Monday. It is one of the deadliest attacks the nation has seen.

The bombing took place in Peshawar, a volatile city in northwestern Pakistan. The mosque is inside a fortified police compound and is mostly attended by law enforcement personnel. Up to 400 people [were] packed into the mosque for prayers when the bomber detonated.

It didn’t take long for terrorists to claim the bombing.

[A spokesman from Forgotten Missionaries International] says, “The Pakistani Taliban had taken responsibility for the attack and they mentioned that they have taken revenge because one of their commanders was killed last year in August. So this is a revenge attack in Pakistan.”

Situated in a “Red Zone,” it’s supposed to be one of the most secure areas of the city. An inquiry is already underway to find out how the bomber got past several layers of security.

“It is one of the most tightly controlled areas of the city housing intelligence and the counter-terrorism bureau, and it is next door to the regional secretariat. More than 1,000 policemen are always there for duty. It is a highly, highly secure place.”

Pakistan is no stranger to attacks like this. They often take the form of terrorism, sectarian violence, and religious persecution.

While Pakistani Christians need to be cautious in ministry, they are the hands and feet of Jesus to heartbroken communities and families in times like this. “Pray for…our partners so they can testify about Jesus Christ, that he is really the Prince of Peace.”

Read the full story and pray for the people of Pakistan. We’re also seeing Pakistan in the news over abuses and the possible expansion of the country’s blasphemy laws (Morning Star News).

Mission videos, events, and more

  1. Introducing People to Jesus Using Your Mobile Phone
  2. More Than 30 Short Videos to Inspire Mission Efforts
  3. Podcast Series: The Hardest Places on the Planet
  4. “Welcome Corps” Refugee Sponsorship Program
  5. Events: February Conferences, Training, and More

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for individual items.

Introducing People to Jesus Using Your Mobile Phone

Source: Mobile Ministry Forum

The mobile phone is the most rapidly adopted technology in human history. Do you know how to use it to connect and communicate with those who have yet to discover abundant life in Jesus? This free, one-hour course will show you how to use your phone to improve and expand your gospel witness in face-to-face interactions, overcoming language barriers and more. The material looks very engaging and inspiring. You can go through it at your own pace, or better yet, complete it with a friend or group.

Learn more or sign up. You may also want to poke around the Mobile Ministry Forum website.

Looking for tools to help you in virtual outreach efforts, too? Check out online training courses from Missions Media U.

More Than 30 Short Videos to Inspire Mission Efforts

Sources: Various, via Project Ablaze

Looking for a video to show your church, small group, class or conference? You may find one in this collection of 36 videos curated by Project Ablaze. Note they come from a variety of sources; content and quality varies.

Browse the video collection.

If you are looking for someone to make a mission video for your team or organization, check out Ablaze Media Productions.

Podcast Series: The Hardest Places on the Planet

Source: Mission Matters Podcast

The Mission Matters Podcast is a partnership between Sixteen:Fifteen and Missio Nexus. Each month hosts Matthew Ellison and Ted Esler invite guests to discuss the mission of God as well as the matters of the mission. While Ted is on sabbatical, Bob Blincoe of Frontiers will be joining Matthew for a three-part series on “The Hardest Places on the Planet.”

The first episode is great! Bob Blincoe tells the story of his own experiences on one of the first missionary teams in Iraq and shares helpful insights on how to build grit and resistance for workers called to the hardest places on the planet. Episode 2 (February 15) will feature Mary Ho of All Nations talking about lessons from the life and death of John Chau. Episode three (March 15) will include guests from TRIAD discussing preparing to send to the hardest places.

Find The Mission Matters Podcast wherever you get your podcasts or watch it here.

You might also want to listen to Dick Brogden on Building Resilience for the Missionary Task (Global Missions Podcast).

“Welcome Corps” Refugee Sponsorship Program

Source: U.S. State Department

“Best government decision ever!” Shane Bennett wrote in a recent edition of Muslim Connect. He’s talking about a new program called Welcome Corps. It looks like a great opportunity for people like many of us.

Through this program, Americans can band together to sponsor refugees, taking on tasks like finding a refugee family housing and furniture, meeting them at the airport, getting their kids into school, and helping them find jobs and learn the ropes. The pilot effort is looking for 10,000 Americans who can help 5,000 refugees. Canada and Australia also have private sponsorship programs, according to the UNHCR. This sounds much like the Sponsor Circles program we wrote about a year ago. Not sure what the difference is. Do you know?

Think this is something your church or small group could do? Learn more or get started.

And don’t go it alone. Check out Christian networks like the Refugee Highway Partnership.

February Conferences, Training, and More

Source: Missions Catalyst Events Calendar

February 3-4, Santa Barbara Mission Conference (Santa Barbara, CA, USA). An annual community event.

February 3-5, Missionfest Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB, Canada). Community-based mission festival.

February 6 to June 11, Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (online). New online classes begin regularly. Most in-person classes have already begun for the semester, but consider visiting a class in your area if there is one.

February 6-7, Support Raising Bootcamp (Cedar Park, TX, USA). Provided by Support Raising Solutions. Note that another February bootcamp will happen in Bali, Indonesia, February 20-21.

February 7, 8 Myths about Missions and What They Mean for the Church (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

February 9, The End of Globalization (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

February 12, Call to Prayer Virtual Prayer Gathering (online). Join others to engage the Muslim world through prayer on the second Sunday of each month.

February 14, Contend: Monthly Day of Prayer For Mission Mobilization (global). Coordinated by GMMI and held on the third Tuesday of each month. 

February 16, Diversity and Mission Mobilization (online). Webinar from Missio Nexus.

February 16-19, Haven Retreat (Palawan, Philippines). For kingdom-minded women serving overseas from various nations. Provided by Azmera.

February 17-18, Midwest Conference on Missionary Care (Roseville, MN, USA). An annual event.

February 17-18, The Journey Deepens retreat (Tempe, AZ, USA). Go deeper with Jesus and journey into missions; provided by MissionNext.

February 20-23, Thrive Retreat (Rome, Italy). For cross-cultural workers from the US and Canada who serve overseas. 

February 21 to April 26, Encountering the World of Islam (Littleton, CO, USA). Focused on embracing Muslims with the love of Christ. A second in-person class will start on March 7 in St. Louis, MO and go through May 22.

February 22-23, George Liele Missions Summit (St. Louis, MO, USA). Celebrating and reimagining a diverse global missions movement (focus on challenges related to sending African-Americans).

February 22-25, Tell: Orality Training (Joplin, MO, USA). Learn gospel storytelling with TRAIN International.

February 23 to March 31, Foundations of Media to Movements (online). Develop a social media outreach strategy; from Media Missions U.

February 24-25, Short-Term Mission Connexion (Seattle, WA, USA). A MissionWorks and MissionConnexion event focused on short-term missions.

February 24-27 Haven Retreat (Da Nang, Vietnam). For kingdom-minded women serving overseas from various nations. Provided by Azmera.

February 25, Mission Mentoring Morning (online). Connect and share strategies to advance your church’s missions commitment. Sponsored by Into All the World (a Canadian mission).

View the complete calendar, updated regularly. We welcome your submissions.

Praying for 5 Places in India | Turkey’s First Church

In this edition of News Briefs:

  1. India: Urgent Prayer Needed for Five Places
  2. North America: 200+ Imams Ask Taliban to End Ban on Education for Girls and Women
  3. Turkey: Country’s First Legally Built Church to Open in Istanbul
  4. North Korea: Reopening in 2023?
  5. North Africa: If You’re Going, I’m Coming, the Watchman Said

Read or share the email edition or scroll down for more

Photo by Tom Chen on Unsplash.

India: Urgent Prayer Needed for Five Places

Source: Global Christian Relief, January 6, 2023

You might expect India, as the world’s largest democracy, to set the global standard for the protection of human rights, including the freedom to worship. The country’s constitution grants every individual freedom of conscience, including the “right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion.”

But a recent report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) claims the opposite is true: “In 2022, religious freedom conditions in India remained poor.” The report states that all levels of the Indian government continued to promote and enforce policies and laws that target Christians and other religious minorities.

With nearly 1.4 billion people in 28 states that cover an expanse over one million square miles, India has places where Christians are the frequent targets of extremists.

Global Christian Relief is calling for urgent prayer for believers in these five specific hotbeds of persecution: Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, and Punjab.

Read the full article for details, or check out the USCIRF report on India. That was released in November.

See also 15 Places Where Christians Risk Everything When They Convert from Islam and another article from Global Christian Relief which asks, Does the Bible say if persecution will ever end?

Never heard of this organization? They were formerly Open Doors USA. Learn more about the change in a joint statement from the two organizations.

Meanwhile, Open Doors just released its 2023 edition of the World Watch List, 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution and discrimination. You might have a use for the four-minute video featuring the top ten. North Korea leads the list this year, after losing that spot to Afghanistan last year. Afghanistan is now ranked number nine.

North America: 200+ Imams Ask Taliban to End Ban on Education for Girls and Women

Source: Sound Vision Foundation, via Religion News Service, January 12, 2023

More than 200 imams, Islamic scholars, and leaders across the United States and Canada are calling on Afghanistan’s Taliban to end its ban on girls’ and women’s education in the country.

Months after banning education for girls in high school, in December, the group announced an indefinite ban on girls’ and women’s attendance at universities.

The move has elicited outrage across the world, with Muslims, both scholars and laypersons, condemning the ban and calling on the Taliban to rescind it.

“Education is both a right and a duty for all Muslims, women and men,” said Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, an imam in Chicago and former Chair of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the largest interfaith organization in the world. “The Taliban cannot claim to be following the teachings of Islam while violating a core tenet and requirement of the faith.”

Read the full story and the full text of the petition.

Turkey: Country’s First Legally Built Church to Open in Istanbul

Source: The Christian Post, January 9, 2023

The construction of the Mor Efrem Syriac Ancient Orthodox Church, the first church built in the modern Republic of Turkey, is nearly complete and is expected to open within two months, the Istanbul Syriac Ancient Foundation has announced.

The church’s foundation was laid in February 2019 during a ceremony attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul’s Yesilkoy district.

[Foundation president Sait] Susin told Turkey’s Anadolu Agency that the church cost about $4 million.

He further explained that while there are churches from the Turkish Republic era, Mor Efrem Syriac Ancient Orthodox Church is the first church to be built from scratch in modern Turkey. “They were built without official permission. It is the first time that a church has been officially built. This gives us great pride,” he said.

Anadolu Agency previously reported that when completed, the church would serve about 17,000 Syriac Orthodox believers living in Istanbul.

Read the full story for context and links. Note the population of Syriac believers in the city increased significantly due to war in Syria.

Also under construction: Berlin, Germany will be the first location to construct a significant worship center for Jews, Christians, and Muslims to worship together. The House of One will be built on a historically significant site, once a Christian church (Back to Jerusalem).

North Korea: Reopening in 2023?

Source: Back to Jerusalem, January 2023

“It is time to begin preparing Bibles again to go into North Korea,” came the text from [a missionary] last week.

Getting money, food, supplies, and not least of all, Bibles, into North Korea in the last three years has been tough as North Korea has isolated itself from the rest of the world, but that might all be changing in 2023.

In his speech at the end of December 2022, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, alluded to opening North Korea back up in 2023. The North Korean self-reliant Communist strategy of Juche has clearly not worked.

North Korea’s borders between China and Russia have been tightly closed since 2020, but now, due to a lack of money and economic activities, the cross-border traffic between the nations is about to resume.

North Korea watched as China opened up its border to Hong Kong in the 1980s to become one of the busiest economic cross-border ports in the world. They mimicked the activity with a special economic zone that mimicked China’s Shenzhen and Guangzhou. In doing so, North Korea’s cross-border activity with China grew to be so influential that North Korea started to use the Chinese Yuan as their primary currency.

Chinese missionaries stand by, ready to participate in cross-border commerce with North Korea the moment they open.

Read the full story.

You may know that neighboring South Korea is one of the world’s top missionary-sending countries, with some 22,000 foreign missionaries, some of them featured (for good or ill) in a recent article. See Christian Missionaries Target the Birthplace of Buddha in Nepal (BBC).

North Africa: If You’re Going, I’m Coming, the Watchman Said

Source: International Mission Board, January 4, 2023

The watchman. He was the grandfather who loved spy novels, Manchester United, and coffee.

Dawit was Matt and Gretchen Clay’s door to communities with no gospel presence. He made introductions for the International Mission Board missionaries and translated from the trade language to the regional language. Dawit helped the Clays begin their ministry in the area by translating for their community development projects.

“He ushered us in,” Gretchen said.

With his high level of English, he was overqualified for the security job, but he saw serving as a watchman as a way to serve and give back to his community.  

When the Clays felt the Lord calling them to move deeper into the region where their people group lived, they told Dawit he was welcome to move with them, but they weren’t requiring it, and they blessed him to retire whenever he saw fit.

“If you’re going, I’m coming,” he told Matt and Gretchen. He lived with the Clays for the past few years in a standalone room next to their house and was a daily part of their lives.

This summer while the Clays were in the U.S., Dawit unexpectedly passed away from a heart attack. His death was devastating. All the missionaries he helped, whether still in the country or back in the U.S., were grieved.

For two months, Gretchen didn’t go into his room. The grief was still too raw. When she did go in, she picked up a piece of paper with random numbers jotted down. She flipped it over and found a note.

“I’ve been working with a family for many years, this American family, I’ve really loved my work with them. They are good people. I like them and their children. They are very good for me. They believe in the one, true God, in Jesus Christ, me too,” the note read.  

Gretchen said it confirmed that he had indeed committed his life to Christ. 

Read the full story.

Practical Mobilization: 7 Ways to Change the World in 2023

…And a roundup of resources to help.

Read or share the email edition of this article.

1. Surrender yourself to God.

This first one is not new but it may help make way for a new you for God to use as he pleases. This a covenant prayer from the Wesleyan tradition. And evidently, it’s often been used as a way to realign one’s heart at the start of a new year:

“I am no longer my own, but yours. Put me to what you will, place me with whom you will. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be put to work for you or set aside for you, praised for you or criticized for you. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and fully surrender all things to your glory and service. And now, O wonderful and holy God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, you are mine, and I am yours. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it also be made in heaven. Amen.”

Download graphics or watch a music video.

2. Get to know the global Church.

Each year, Gina Zurlo, Todd Johnson, and their colleagues at Gordon-Conwell’s Center for Global Christianity in Boston publish a snapshot of global Christianity in its historical context (1900-2050). If you want to know where we are, statistically, in 2023, this is a good place to look.

What makes it into the one-page document continues to evolve, but it includes mid-2023 projects for the global population, cities, world religion, the distribution of Christians by continent and tradition, Christian missions, Bibles, Christian finance, and the status of world evangelization. Note that their source, the World Christian Database, uses a wide definition of what it means to be Christian. Some other sources take a different approach to this and a few other categories.

Download the Status of Global Christianity 2023. It just came out. Savvy mobilizers and mission advocates who want to avoid trotting out old or inaccurate data should take a look. It may change how you think about the global Church.

3. Dig a little deeper.

There’s plenty to chew on in the Status of Global Christianity document, but you may have questions. Read the related article from the International Bulletin of Mission Research, which this year also looks at data from something called The Women in World Christianity Project. Since few religious bodies track gender info, it’s a formidable task. But they calculate that global church membership is at least 52% female, and considerably higher in some groups. For example, 63% of all church members in Mongolia are women. What might that mean for our mobilization efforts and global partnerships?

See one writer’s takeaway from last year’s Status of Global Christianity report in 7 Encouraging Trends of Global Christianity in 2022 (Lifeway Research). That’ll preach! You might also stop and peruse Lifeway’s Fast Facts data roundup, mostly about Christianity in the U.S. See something there that could inform your ministry focus?

4. Do you do data? Gather with others who do.

If mission data is your jam, you are a select tribe. Don’t go it alone. Consider attending the second annual Mission Information Workers conference. It’s all online, several hours a day April 17-20. They’ll be looking at mission data standards, training, data gaps, ways to better share information, and more. The conference is sponsored by the Community of Mission Information Workers, Lausanne Research and Strategic Information Network, and Harvest Information Standards. I heard about it from Joshua Project.

5. Pray for these 12 countries.

Zoom back out; this one’s for everyone. What do we do with what we know? Take it to heart. Let it change us. And turn it into prayer. Here’s a good example.

“Nearly 75% of the world’s unreached people (3.6 billion) live in 12 countries,” says Jesus Film Project. “We invite you to join us as we engage in strategic focused prayer for those 12 countries. Each month we’ll introduce one of these countries and share prayer requests to address its specific needs.

“You can join us by downloading a prayer guide or exploring our family prayer resources. Throughout January, we are praying for Indonesia.”

Learn more and download what you can use. The materials look great and are fairly organization-neutral so you may be able to share them in many contexts. I like their prayer card with the QR code; we’re using something like that with our prayer team for Pioneers. Maybe your church or ministry team could do the same.

By the way, the 12 countries (alphabetically) are Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.

What do you say; can we pray for these places?

6. Prayerwalk your neighborhood.

You may remember the saying: Think globally. Act locally. But we can pray locally, too. Navigators has a new ebook to download called Praying Through Your Neighborhood. It includes a 30-day prayer guide with scriptures, ideas for how to turn your stroll around the block into an opportunity to pray, and a prayer map you can use to keep track of how you’re praying (and who you pray for and with).

It’s free but you’ll have to give the Navs your email address to get it. That could be worth it: they put out a lot of helpful content about sharing the gospel, making disciples, and spiritual growth.

7. Let your light shine.

Maybe God is starting to show you he’s put you and your family where you are for a reason. If that’s true, what does it mean for how you engage your community? Read Your Home: A Lighthouse (Rob Rienow, for Weave).

Seeing yourself as a light in the darkness may be daunting, but as the article says, “A lighthouse can still shine even with cracks and missing bricks. Our families are no different. We can still shine for Christ even though we are struggling with conflicts, anxiety, and discouragement. Talk and pray as a family about how God can use your home to be a light in this world of darkness.”

Insane New Year’s | Movements Starting Movements

Lunar New Year is coming up and may bring record-setting travel within China. Also in this edition, stories that might—or might not—make Heaven’s headlines.

  1. China: The Most Insane New Year’s Celebration the World Has Seen
  2. The Most Significant Religion Stories of 2022
  3. Great News—Movements Are Starting New Movements
  4. Uganda: Home Burned, Two Christians Injured in Separate Attacks
  5. Pakistan: Christian Girls and Women Converted without Consent

Read or share the email edition, or scroll down for more.

Lanterns image by tookapic from Pixabay

China: The Most Insane New Year’s Celebration the World Has Seen

Source: Back to Jerusalem, December 31, 2022

The world is about to see the most insane New Year’s celebration that has ever been witnessed!

No, I am not talking about the New Year’s bash in New York’s Time Square, but something a lot bigger with a lot more people—Chinese New Year—[which in less than three weeks will be the largest human migration on the planet.

More than 3 billion people could be traveling. The biggest problem this year is that the Chinese have been forced to stay in their homes for the last three years. Airports have been closed, freeways have been closed off, cities have had barriers to keep people from coming or leaving, and even homes have had fences erected around them and doors welded shut.

Those living in these conditions for the last three years are about to be released to freedom!

The government just did a surprise pivot from mandatory quarantines only a month ago announcing that they were dropping all Covid-19 related restrictions. This unexpected announcement has caused a flurry of Chinese families making plans to go and see their families. Many will be leaving the country.

This year, Chinese New Year will fall on Sunday, January 22, so travel will officially start for many people on Friday, January 20th. The travel nightmare will not end until about mid-February.

Read the full story.

See also Lunar New Year: 15 Days, 15 Ways to Pray (Christar).

While most of those who travel for Lunar New Year soon return home, other migration waves may be more permanent. See Top 10 Migration Issues of 2022 (Migration Policy Institute) and pray for those involved.

The Most Significant Religion Stories of 2022

Source: Religion News Service, December 29, 2022

Taken as a whole, the news of the past 12 months tells a story of deepening division in American and global society, as issues from abortion to antisemitism seemed to not only inflame debate between individuals but to destabilize institutions. Faith communities and organizations, often at the center of some of the year’s most indelible moments, were no less vulnerable to these roiling shifts. Here are RNS editors’ picks for the most significant stories in faith in the last year.

See what makes the list. Not sure more than a few of them would make what we at Missions Catalyst think of as Heaven’s headlines, though other stories in this edition of news briefs might.