About Marsha West

Marsha West is the general editor of Christian Research Network.

War Room: Buyer beware! Needs some discernment to watch

From Berean Research:

In his commentary, Glenn E. Chatfield touches on some of War Room’s theological problems and also discusses what he feels are the movie’s positive aspects. All in all what he has to say is fair and balanced.

In my view, the Kendrick brothers certainly have good intentions in making “Christian” films. But what I find troubling is that much of their teaching on prayer is decidedly unbiblical. This presents a problem in that many who see the film lack the discernment to know that what they’re learning about prayer doesn’t line up with Scripture. This is why the movie’s critics say that those who were involved in it (producers/writers/directors/cast, etc.) have led the sheep down a very rocky path.

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British researchers get green light to genetically modify human embryos

According to The Guardian:

Britain’s first genetically modified human embryos could be created within months, after scientists were granted permission by the fertility regulator to carry out the procedure.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) regulator approved a licence application by Kathy Niakan, a stem cell scientist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, to perform so-called genome editing on human embryos.

The decision permits Niakan to study the embryos for 14 days for research purposes only. It does not permit them to be implanted into women. Niakan’s research is aimed at finding the genes at play in the early days of human fertilisation.

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“I’ve Changed My Mind”: Homosexual Rights Activist Now Supports Fined Christian Bakers

Christian News Network reports:

A homosexual rights activist states that he has changed his mind and now supports the rights of a Christian bakery that was fined last year for declining to print the phrase “support gay marriage” on a cake. He says that while discrimination against people is wrong, rejecting ideas is indeed lawful.

As previously reported, in May 2014, Ashers Baking Company in Newtonabbey—named after Genesis 49:20—was approached by a same-sex “marriage” supporter to bake a cake that was to feature the phrase, as well as the logo for the homosexual advocacy group QueerSpace. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the cake was for an event in observance of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

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The Beck Lies: Mormon Leads Prayer to False God at Ted Cruz Campaign Office

Over at Pulpit & Pen, Seth Dunn informs us that Ted Cruz is surrounded by cultists, knows it, and it doesn’t seem to bother him. To be fair, to get elected, political candidates need financial support and people’s votes. To that end, Marco Rubio, a Roman Catholic, has stated that he “fully understands Catholic doctrine” yet he would have people believe he’s an evangelical. And Donald Trump states that he’s a “Presbyterian Protestant,” that he believes in God but has never asked for forgiveness. Since the sincere Christian understands sin, repentance and forgiveness, Dunn wonders if The Donald is a true a Christian.

But this is not about Rubio and Trump; it’s about Southern Baptist presidential candidate Ted Cruz praying with a cultist. Seth Dunn begins with the following quote:

“I have prayed for the next George Washington. I believe I have found him (in Ted Cruz).” Glenn Beck

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Read our Research Paper on Mormonism

A Headache for Evolutionists? Scientists Discover “Unimaginable Complexity” in DNA

Christian News Network reports:

DNAIn what appears to be a serious setback for evolutionists, a team of researchers from Cambridge University discovered that DNA and the way it is affected by modifications are much more complex than previously thought.

A group of scientists with the University of Cambridge recently published a report in the journal “Nature Structural and Molecular Biology,” in which they describe their findings on epigenetic modifications. Epigenetics is the study of how genes in organisms are switched on and off.

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Selfie Righteousness

Blogger and Bible teacher Erin Benziger observes that many professing Christians are ignorantly utilizing social media for the celebration of “self.” Erin points out that while Christians may wish to appear spiritual and humble, we ultimately end up exclaiming, “Hey! Look at me! Look at how amazing I am! Look at how much more spiritual I am than you! Look at how much cuter my children are than yours; I must be more blessed! Look at how much more precious my ‘quiet time’ is!”

Erin begins her piece…

Selfies Christians truly are a unique bunch. We are in the world, but not of it. We strive to serve our Lord Jesus Christ well in the midst of a world that is hostile to Him and to His message. We know we have been called out of this world because, in reality, we are citizens of a heavenly kingdom.

And yet, we do not hide our faith. We do not silence our message. We desire that the world know we are Christians so that it may hear the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins found in Jesus Christ alone. So at times we must utilize the tools of the world in order to aid us in our mission. And this is okay, so long as the execution of the task does not subsequently result in sin or tarnish the name of Christ.

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Mass rally against gay civil unions in Italy capital

Yahoo News reports:

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Rome’s Circus Maximus arena Saturday to protest against a civil unions bill for same-sex couples, a hot-potato issue for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government.

But while organisers had been hoping to attract one million people and authorities had prepared for 500,000, journalists at the scene estimated the numbers to be in the tens of thousands. Official numbers were not immediately available.

“Without limits, our society will go mad!” organiser Massimo Gandolfini told the “Family Day” rally, as grandparents, parents and children held up banners reading “Wrong is wrong” in the capital’s ancient Roman chariot racing stadium.

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California Joins the Effort to Persecute, Suppress Scientific Dissent on Climate Change

According to The Daily Signal:

Polar bearCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in trying to prosecute ExxonMobil for supposedly lying to its shareholders and the public about climate change, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Harris is investigating what ExxonMobil “knew about global warming and what the company told investors.”

Neither Harris nor Schneiderman recognizes the outrageousness of what they are doing—which amounts censoring or restricting speech and debate on what is a contentious scientific theory. In fact, they want not just to stop anyone who questions the global warming theory from being able to speak; they want to punish them with possible civil sanctions or even criminal penalties. As I said before about Schneiderman, Harris needs a remedial lesson in the First Amendment.

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The Gaystapo Crackdown on Christianity

Bill Muehlenbeg of Culture Watch fills us in on what’s going on in Australia, where he makes his home. He has included a must read newspaper report that gives us a glimpse of the far left’s direct assault on Christians, as well as on all religious and cultural groups “which may have any unease about the homosexual lifestyle.” No one had better defy the LGBT police! Muehlenberg warns: “The totalitarian implications of all this should be lost on none of us.”

What you’re about to read is chilling.

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World Interface Harmony Week: A spiritual blending

Berean Examiner reports:

Whatever happened to that 2007 “A Common Word Between Us” initiative, signed by pastors like Rick Warren Bill Hybels and Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals? Remember when hundreds of Christian pastors and Catholic priests signed on to call for interfaith dialogue that would build relations and reshape the Christian and Islam communities? Remember how these Christian leaders also asked for forgiveness of sins committed against Muslims in the Crusades? Remember?

A Common WordThat Muslim/Christian interfaith agreement is not only alive and well these days, it has blossomed into an international United Nations effort to blend all religions. And this week we’re going to see the fruit of that effort in the U.N.’s annual World Interfaith Harmony Week, February 1 – 7. It’s website states: The World Interfaith Harmony Week is based on the pioneering work of The Common Word Initiative:

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Does the ERLC Represent the SBC?

Will Hall of Baptist Message believes that many Southern Baptists are asking whether the ERLC, under the leadership of Russell Moore, truly represents them. Has Moore shown contempt for Christians who think differently than him, as Hall suggests? He asserts that “Moore’s scale for assessing one’s biblical bona fides appears politically calculated to raise his own stock at the expense of other evangelical conservatives.”

See if you agree:

When an unnamed staffer “boasted” to the online media outlet Think Progress in October 2014 that Russell Moore had “completely rebranded” the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, few could have imagined what this meant.

However, Moore’s all-in campaign against presidential candidate Donald Trump, highlighted by his most recent attacks on Liberty University for hosting Trump at a student convocation, reveals something quite unexpected about Moore when he was elected to lead the ERLC in 2013—a penchant for disdain for Christians who think differently than him.

Moore rightly points out Trump’s moral flaws—and character should count—and he has a right and responsibility to comment on Trump’s policies and to share his view of what these might mean in terms of Christian values.

But Moore’s dislike for Trump goes beyond the pale, translating into disrespect and even contempt for any Christian who might weigh these considerations differently than Moore when comparing the range of personal beliefs and behaviors as well as public records of ability and achievement within such a large field of candidates for the White House.

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Trump Says His Presidency Would Affirm Abortion Exceptions of Rape, Incest, Life of Mother

Christian News Network has the story:

As have the last several Republicans to hold the office of the presidency, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has announced that he supports abortion exceptions in the instances of rape, incest and the life of the mother

“Let me be clear — I am pro-life,” Trump wrote in an op-ed published in the Washington Examiner on Saturday. “I support that position with exceptions allowed for rape, incest or the life of the mother being at risk.”

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Discernment as Free Speech

The following is an article from fellow online apologetics and discernment ministry Herescope contributor Sarah Leslie. Sarah brings to light an attempt to censor free speech by some in the Christian community. For instance, Laura Turner of the “Her.meneutics” blog over at Christianity Today has labeled spiritual discernment “theology policing.” In a piece she wrote, Turner went after two Christian writers that she deems theology police, Tim Challies and Warren B. Smith, for criticizing Sarah Young’s best-selling book, Jesus Calling. Challies and Smith share the view that Jesus Calling is decidedly unbiblical and have given numerous reasons for saying that it’s not a book Christian should be reading. So they’re under attack for telling the truth.

With all this in mind, we hope you’ll listen to Sarah Leslie express her concerns over some of the frightening things that are going on in the Christian community:

Peggy Noonan wrote in her weekly Wall Street Journal column this past December 4th her concerns that

The censorship movement is radical. It is starting to make everyone in the country feel harassed and anxious. It is odd to see candidates miss a rising issue that is giving pause to so many Americans.

I pray someone will address it. Literally, I just did.

This Herescope post is an answer to her prayers. It may be an unexpected answer and a politically incorrect answer, but nevertheless it is a response. It represents an exercise in the right of free speech and freedom of religion.

Noonan, a former speechwriter to President Reagan with conservative credentials, titled her article “The First Amendment Needs Your Prayers.” She was upset about social media reactions during the San Bernardino massacre, “even while it is happening,” especially from a U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (CT) who sent out a message stating, “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing—again.” According to Noonan this heavy-handed ridiculing of people who were praying during the massacre “immediately won a name: ‘prayer shaming.’” Noonan then expressed more concerns:

…Americans are growing weary of being told what they can and cannot publicly say, proclaim and think. We all know what’s going on at the colleges, with the mad little Marats and Robespierres who are telling students and administrators what they are and are not allowed to say or do. This is not just kids acting up at this point, it’s a real censorship movement backed by an ideology that is hostile to the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is led by students who, though they managed to get into the greatest universities in the country, seem never to have been taught to love the little amendment that guarantees free speech and free religious observance, the two pillars without which America collapses. And too bad, because when you don’t love something you lose it.

It is my impression that what is happening on the campuses is starting to break through as a real threat to what used to be called normal Americans.

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AiG wins court battle for Ky. tax incentive

Baptist Press reports:

Answers in Genesis has won a court battle to benefit from a Kentucky sales tax rebate incentive program that could save the apologetics ministry up to $18 million on its Ark Encounter museum being built in northern Kentucky.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky had withheld the incentive program from AiG by claiming that the ministry would use religion to discriminate in hiring its employees, and that the use of tax incentives to advance religion violated state law. In its lawsuit, AiG argued that the tax incentive was “facially neutral” and thereby applicable to religious organizations just as any other business that meets program criteria.

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NY Court: Farmers to Be Re-Educated, Pay Fines for Not Hosting Homosexual Wedding

Well this is an outrage. The couple who declined to host a lesbian wedding on their property will not only have to pay a fine, they’ll have to attend “re-training” classes or have a “trainer” come to them. So now our government thinks they have the authority to brainwash people? CNSNews has the story:

A couple who hosts occasional wedding ceremonies on their New York farm have lost an appeal to overturn the $13,000 in fines levied against them by the state’s human rights agency, which ruled that their refusal to host a wedding for two women was discriminatory.

On Jan. 14, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, upheld the agency’s order and the fines, a decision the Alliance Defending Freedom – which represented Robert and Cynthia Gifford – said amounted to confirming, “that the government can punish the Giffords for declining to coordinate a ceremony that conflicts with their conscience.”

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“Submission” to Islam: Critics Slam Cover-Up of Rome’s Nude Statues for Iran’s President

According to CNSNews:

Nude statues at Rome’s Capitoline Museums were covered with large white boxes ahead of Iranian President Hasan Rouhani’s visit on Monday, January 25, 2016. (Giuseppe Lami/ANSA via AP) (CNSNews.com) – Italian opposition politicians have lashed out at a decision to cover up classical statues ahead of a visit by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to a world-famous Roman museum, for fear of offending his Muslim sensibilities.

Nude statues among the historical collections at the Capitoline Museums were hidden behind large white panels when Rouhani visited on Monday for a meeting with Prime Minister Matteo] Renzi. The museum said the prime minister’s office requested the cover-up.

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Ted Cruz touts endorsement from NAR leader Mike Bickle

From Berean Research:

Spirit of Error reports on Ted Cruz’s big endorsement — Mike Bickle (details below). Before I get to their report, I need to remind readers that in 2011 the NAR arranged The Response: A Call to Prayer for then Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Not only did NAR self-professed prophets declare Gov. Perry God’s anointed president, they also proclaimed that Texas would lead the U.S. to an economic and spiritual recovery.

Turned out the “prophets” were mistaken about Perry. During the first debate he made a couple of huge blunders and was unable to recover from them. Soon thereafter he bowed out of the race. Perhaps someone on the campaign trail will remind Sen. Cruz that Rick Perry was once the anointed president.

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David Barton prays an anointing on Glenn Beck

From Berean Research:

Glenn BeckOne must wonder why Christian historian David Barton and Mormon Glenn Beck have been spending so much time together. And when they pray, what are they praying for? Is it Beck’s repentance and salvation in Jesus Christ of the Bible?

Well, not exactly.

As a follow up to Marsha’s must-read article, Controversial Christian historian David Barton…misinterpretations…errors…and Glenn Beck, Warren Throckmorton emailed us to share this interesting video and article. Notice what Barton is praying, and how afterward Beck is deeply affected.

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Grand jury indicts pro-life investigator behind baby part videos, clears Planned Parenthood

Lifesite News reports:

The lead investigator behind the undercover Planned Parenthood videos faces up to 20 years in prison after a Houston grand jury decided on Monday not to charge Planned Parenthood with any wrongdoing – and instead indicted him for offering to purchase human organs from the abortion provider.

Center for Medical Progress lead investigator David Daleiden faces a second-degree felony charge of “tampering with a governmental record,” and a misdemeanor charge for violating the state’s “prohibition of the purchase and sale of human organs.”

That is, jurors in the state of Texas are accusing David Daleiden of trying to illegally traffic in aborted babies’ body parts.

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Jonathan Cahn Partners With Arch Heretic Kenneth Copeland

From the Museum of Idolatry:

Jonathan Cahn’s transition to the dark side is now complete. He has now taken his eschatologically indefensible prognostications to the Dark Lord of the Heretical Sith, Ken Copeland.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.” — Romans 16:17–18

Need we say more?

Now watch the video

Controversial Christian historian David Barton…misinterpretations…errors…and Glenn Beck

“If your family homeschools, or if you send your kids to a Christian school, or even if you are actively involved in Republican politics, listen to talk radio, and consider yourself a TEA party oriented person, the name David Barton has circled around your orbit at least a few times.” ~ Fred Butler, Hip & Thigh

              Marsha West

Marsha West

“America’s favorite historian” (at one time) has become a controversial figure. A few years ago David Barton was criticized for “cherry-picking” historical citations to present a Christian narrative of American history. Not surprisingly Christian bashers on the Left accused Barton of misinterpretations and errors in his writing. They weren’t alone in their criticism. A number of highly regarded conservative evangelicals and Catholics jumped on the bandwagon and began criticizing his misuse of information. Jay W. Richards of the Discovery Institute was one such critic. Richards, a Catholic, was so troubled by some of Barton’s writings that he invited a group of politically conservative evangelicals and Catholic historians to take part in an evaluation. Dr. Gregg Frazer of the Masters College in Santa Clarita, CA agreed to participate. Frazer, a conservative evangelical, authored The Religious Beliefs of the American Founders: Reason, Religion, and Revolution. In his book he states his belief that America’s Founders were neither deists nor Christians, they were something in-between. The term he uses is “theistic rationalist.” When Frazer critiqued David Barton’s popular video America’s Godly Heritage he found many of its factual claims questionable. For example: Barton’s claim that “52 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were ‘orthodox, evangelical Christians.’” According to Frazer, Barton’s claim is bogus.

Christian Bible and book publisher Thomas Nelson published Barton’s book The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson and later had the books pulled from bookstores and stopped distribution for what it deemed factual issues with the text.

Even though Thomas Nelson made the decision to bail out, the book has been offered on Barton’s website, WallBuilders.com and on Amazon.com.

According to Warren Throckmorton of Patheos:

Even the Family Research Council recognized flaws in Barton’s presentations and pulled his Capitol Tour video from view. Also, Focus on the Family edited Barton’s talks to remove two major historical errors. (Source)

The Berean Call reported on the Barton brouhaha and quoted Casey Michel of TPM as saying:

[Jay] Richards emphasizes that he and the scholars he consulted about Barton largely agree with Barton’s belief that Christian principles played a major role in America’s founding, but Richards argues that Barton’s books and videos are full of “embarrassing factual errors, suspiciously selective quotes, and highly misleading claims.”

Berean Call concluded that:

While we have no doubt that Christians and Scriptural principles have influenced this nation, we need to stick to the facts. Because Barton’s research has often been shown to be in error, he has become a favorite target of skeptics who point to his errors and use it as ammunition in attacking believers. In short, carelessness or lack of integrity is counterproductive to the cause we would advance.

Recently World Net Daily decided that Thomas Nelson removed Barton’s book from publication because of “political correctness.” So WND’s CEO, Joseph Farah, published it in January 2016 and it’s available on WND at this writing. (View the article)

With this background in mind, let’s move to the current day and the main purpose of this article. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) announced that David Barton has been given his own TV show which first aired January 8. The TBN press release states,

Once deeply respected around the world as a place of hope and opportunity, the United States of America today stands at a crucial crossroads as it faces serious issues central to faith, family, and freedom. But what if an entire generation of Americans could re-discover the bold, courageous, and compelling history that made their nation the “land of the free and the home of the brave”?

Evidently the powers that be who run TBN (Jan Crouch and sons Paul, Jr. and Matt) are unaware of the uproar Barton’s book on Thomas Jefferson caused. Either that or they don’t care that several prominent conservative historians have come out and said that his scholarship is shoddy. Likewise, they must be unaware of the statement Thomas Nelson’s Vice President and Publisher Brian Hampton made concerning this matter:

When the concerns came in, from multiple people, and that had weight too, we were trying to sort things out. Were these matters of opinion? Were they differences of interpretation? But as we got into it, our conclusion was that the criticisms were correct. There were historical details — matters of fact, not matters of opinion, that were not supported at all. (Source)

Continuing with TBN’s announcement:

With the help of special guests like conservative television host Glenn Beck, former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, law professor Dr. Carol Swain, and others, David Barton explores America’s founding principles and values to discover how the Founding Fathers used the Bible as a blueprint to ensure the heritage of liberty Americans have cherished for over two hundred years.

Well this is interesting. Glenn Beck will be a guest on the show? Beck’s a member in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Um…Mormons reject the Trinity, as in the T in TBN. Do Jan & Sons not know that Mormons contend they’re the true remnant of the Christian church — the one true church?

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Pope Risks Traditionalist Anger with Martin Luther Commemoration

NewsMax reports:

Risking the ire of Catholic traditionalists, Pope Francis is to take part in a joint Catholic-Lutheran service in Sweden in October marking the start of the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s anti-Catholic Reformation. The service will take place in the southern Swedish city of Lund on Oct. 31, the Vatican said. Lund is where the Lutheran World Federation was founded in 1947.

Luther, a German, is credited with starting the Protestant Reformation in 1517 with writing 95 theses – famously said to have been nailed to a church door in Wittenberg – criticising the Catholic Church for selling forgiveness from sins for money.

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Planned Parenthood Provided Hearts, Brains of Aborted Babies to University of Wisconsin

According to Christian News Network:

The abortion giant Planned Parenthood provided the hearts and brains of unborn babies up to 18 weeks gestation to the University of Wisconsin, records show, despite assertions from both groups that the exchange never occurred.

In a press release earlier this month in which Planned Parenthood announced its lawsuit against the Center for Medical Progress and those involved with recording undercover videos of organization officials, it claimed that “Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin does not offer fetal tissue donation for patients.”

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Muslims Coming to Christ Through God’s Word

“Christian aid groups working among refugees in Iraq and other places are reporting how God is using unimaginable pain to bring people to Christ,” writes Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis.

BibleFrom a human perspective, it’s very easy to feel discouraged in this day and age. It seems that no matter where we look around the world, there’s pain, suffering, and war. Our world longs for peace, but from a human viewpoint it seems hard (impossible, really) to find.

It’s important to remember that death and suffering was never originally part of God’s design. Everything was originally created “very good” (Genesis 1:31). It was Adam and Eve’s sin that brought death and suffering into God’s creation. The pain and suffering we see around us is a direct result of the rebellion of Adam and the continuing rebellion of his descendants.

We also need to remember that, even in the midst of pain, God is sovereign over circumstances. I’m reminded of a verse from Genesis, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20). Right now in the Middle East, the radical Muslim group ISIS is terrorizing Christians, putting many of them to death. The horrors ISIS is inflicting on men, women, and children seems unfathomable to us in the West, yet this is a daily reality for many people. Well, out of these horrors God is working.

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