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Greg Mundis
AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Assemblies of God is not the only AG celebrating its centennial this year.

More than 22,000 people gathered at a rugby stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Pentecostal missionaries who came to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1914, the same year the U.S. Assemblies of God was founded.

Thousands travelled long distances at great personal sacrifice to attend the event despite extreme persecution by religious extremists. Across the country, more than 200 AG churches have been attacked and vandalized, and some have been burned. A number of pastors have been physically beaten and even martyred.

AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis spoke at the event encouraging pastors to continue to persevere in proclaiming the gospel and establishing more churches. He says, "I was overwhelmed by God's work in Sri Lanka and by the passion believers had to be together to celebrate! They are putting everything - themselves, their families, everything - on the line to spread the gospel. They are modern-day living martyrs. It was humbling."

Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka AG and pastor of Peoples Church, a congregation of more than 8,000 in Colombo, the nation's capital, will be speaking at the centennial celebration of the U.S. Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, on August 9.

Recently Pastor Wickramaratne said, "When persecution has increased, we remember what one of our pastors said, 'If our faith is good enough to live for, it's good enough to die for.'"

To view pictures from the Sri Lanka celebration, see the AG World Missions article.


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City hassles woman for feeding the needy

Mon, 07 Jan 2013 - 4:34 PM CST

Millie Ramirez
Ramirez

The Rutherford Institute has come to the defense of an Arizona woman who has been cited for using her property to share free food with the hungry as a means of exercising her Christian beliefs.

Attorneys for The Rutherford Institute intervened after an enforcement officer with the City of Glendale allegedly informed Millie Ramirez that she would be considered a criminal if she continued to use the driveway of her private residence to distribute free food. For seven years, Ramirez has collected donations from area grocers and made them available to needy families by setting up a temporary food bank in her driveway, which she puts up and takes down each day.

Glendale officials insist that Ramirez is violating the city code by storing materials outside her home, citing her charitable activities as being an "illegal home occupation," an "illegal land use," and as unlawfully lacking a "business license." The Rutherford Institute responded that such action violates Ramirez's 14th Amendment due process rights and warned the city about legal action.

The religious liberties organization says Ramirez has been subjected to repeated harassment by city officials, who have issued "compliance notices" stating that she is in violation of Glendale's storage ordinances.

Those provisions are expressly limited to indefinite storage of material goods, and don't apply to Ramirez' temporary use of items for the specific purpose of feeding the hungry, according to The Rutherford Institute.

Author: Pentecostal Evangel


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