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Refugees
Many Iraqi Christian refugees have no place to go, and are forced to sleep on the street or in open patio areas with little protection from the elements.

The Islamic State (also known as ISIS), an extreme Sunni militant group, has rampaged across Iraq virtually unchecked for months, using barbaric tactics to purge towns of religious and ethnic minorities — though Christians are the primary target.

Within one 24-hour period, as many as 2,000 refugee families flooded into a town north of Baghdad. At least 800 families found nowhere except the streets to sleep.

Greg Mundis, AGWM executive director, says, "The need of our fellow believers in Iraq is desperate. We who have experienced God's unmerited favor have a responsibility to help Christians who are suffering there."

As Christians flee persecution, several AG churches in Iraq are helping care for them. One church is presently housing 200 refugees.

"The current situation in Iraq exemplifies the importance of having established churches in a country that can touch the poor and suffering firsthand, quickly and effectively," says Randy Hurst, AGWM communications director. "In spite of their own need, our Iraqi brothers and sisters began immediately reaching out to suffering Christians. They are doing all they can, but they need our help to do more. Through them, we can give aid to Christians in Iraq who are fleeing violent persecution."  

Relief
Help is needed to provide adequate relief supplies for the increasing number of Iraqi Christian refugees.

Across the Nineveh plains, an estimated 200,000 Iraqi Christians have fled their homes.

These churches need financial help to purchase food and other emergency supplies, since most of the refugees have nothing of their own. A blanket can be provided for $10, a hygiene kit for $20, and a week's worth of basic food items for a family of four for $60. 

Those who want to help can give online at giving.ag.org and clicking on the "Middle East Refugee Crisis" graphic. Checks should be mailed to AG World Missions, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., Springfield, MO 65802. Indicate "Middle East Refugee Crisis - AGWM Suffering Church Fund #649230-0 (28)" on the memo line of the check. Donations also can be made by calling toll free 1-866-470-9514. 

"Please pray for Christians who are being persecuted for their faith and for those who are reaching out to nonbelievers in the love of Christ," Mundis appeals. "Pray also that all compassionate efforts that are done will 'open a door for the message' (Colossians 4:3) in many lives."

For more information, including pictures of the relief efforts of AG churches in Iraq, click here.

 


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Nudity increases on broadcast networks

Wed, 09 Jan 2013 - 2:49 PM CST

A Parents Television Council study has found a huge increase in the number of incidents of full nudity on broadcast networks during the 2011-12 season compared to the year before. A PTC analysis discovered a 407 percent increase in full-frontal nudity.

During the 2011-12 season, 76 incidents of full nudity occurred on 37 shows, compared to 15 cases on 14 programs a year earlier. Only five of the shows carried an "S" descriptor alerting parents to explicit adult content.

"Broadcasters are unashamedly and without warning, exposing families and children to graphic images," states Candy Tolbert, Assemblies of God Girls Ministries director. "So, one must wonder what the motivation is?"

The research also showed a trend in how the networks treat the nudity. In most cases in 2010-12, black bars hid body parts. But in the recently concluded season, three-fourths of the images were blurred or pixilated.

"We have seen a concerted effort on the part of the networks to constantly push the outer limit of what may be considered appropriate for the broadcast medium," says PTC President Tim Winter. "They are aggressively pursuing a dangerous agenda to completely obliterate any remaining television taboos."

More than half - 35 - of the 64 occurrences of frontal nudity were on NBC. ABC had the second most with 17.

Authors: Pentecostal Evangel and AG News


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