Assyrian Christian Hostages Held for Ransom

The Islamic State released 10 Assyrian Christian hostages Tuesday night in the Tel Temir town in Hasakah province, northeastern Syria, but over 150 remain captured and threatened with death.

CHR Comment: Those released seem to be persons who could not easily be held in captivity (sick and elderly). The captors seek millions of dollars in ransom money. Terrorist groups use these methods as a form of fundraising.

Source: ISIS Releases 10 Assyrian Christian Hostages; Over 150 Remain Captured

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Stephen Colbert Urges Bill Maher to Return to Church

An awkward, at times profane, exchange between comedy talk show host Stephen Colbert and Bill Maher reflects the conflation of Islam with terrorism – and the debate over how to respond to the terrorist attacks in Paris.

CHR Comment: Maher, a former Catholic, is openly hostile toward religion and blames religion for many of the troubles in the world today, such as terrorism. Colbert, on the other hand, is a sincere Catholic who called Maher to humble himself and return to the Lord during a live broadcast of his program, “The Late Show.”

Source: Awkward exchange: Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher on terrorism and religion – CSMonitor.com

Rev. Lyle E. Schaller Dies at 91. Church Growth Consultant

Highly influential church growth consultant, Lyle Schaller, taught sociological principles to churches, which made them more attractive and effective in gaining audiences. His approach helped shape modern churches, although it also raised concerns about whether sociology should trump biblical theology’s emphasis on God’s role in conversion and the role of tradition in guiding congregational life. Rev. Lyle E. Schaller Dies at 91; Helped Protestant Churches Survive and Grow – NYTimes.com.

Julio Ribeiro. Indian Christians. History of Conversion

Julio Ribeiro is a retired police officer who was a leading figure in India’s governance in decades past. He recently offered complaint about religiously motivated violence in India and the role of mass conversions in sparking such violence. This two part article offers analysis in view of India’s history. It is not an easy read but does help one sort through the roles of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian views in the present conflict as well as the history contributing to such conflict. Key to the author’s argument is the role of the caste system in holding people back and that people chose to convert to other religions in order to escape the dominant caste system.

via Part 1: Julio Ribeiro and the choices before Indian Christians | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis.

Part 2: Julio Ribeiro and the choice before Indian Christians.