The editorial of the week of 25/03/2022 with Camille: Ukraine, Hillsong, persecuted Christians, "My Devotion"

In the editorial of the week with Camille on video discover the subjects which animated the Christian sphere this week from articles published on the InfoChrétienne site.

We start with a point on the war in Ukraine.

valentina, an Orphan's Promise missionary who worked in the Mariupol region of Ukraine was abducted on February 25 by Russian forces. In a Facebook post dated March 17, his colleagues call for prayers for his protection and release.

Olena Zelenska, the wife of the President of Ukraine sent a letter to the World Council of Churches to ask him, "as an organization called to preach peace and brotherhood", to help Ukrainians fleeing the war.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday invited Pope Francis to play the role of mediator in the negotiations between kyiv and Moscow.

Since the beginning of the Russian offensive, the pope has multiplied calls for peace. This Friday he once again invited Catholics around the world to pray for peace in Ukraine. An approach applied in several dioceses in France.

According to UNICEF, "a month of war in Ukraine has led to the displacement of 4,3 million children, more than half of the estimated child population of 7,5 million". UNICEF Director Catherine Russell says it is "one of the fastest large-scale displacements of children since the Second World War".

The Christian organization Release International is concerned about the situation in the Ukrainian territories invaded by Russia. Its managing director, Paul Robinson, deplores "dark days, not only for the Ukrainian people, but also for religious freedom".

We will also talk about the international megachurch Hillsong which has just announced the resignation of its founder. 

In a statement released last Friday, Hillsong's board of directors revealed two complaints against its founder and senior pastor, Brian Houston. The first dates from ten years ago, the second from 2019.

In both cases, the pastor engaged in inappropriate behavior with female members of the church. A few days after these revelations, Hillsong announced the resignation of Brian Houston.

In the statement released Wednesday, Hillsong's Board of Directors says "regardless of the circumstances" it should be recognized that Brian Houston and his wife Bobbi "have served God faithfully for many decades and their ministry has empowered millions of people around the world to be touched by the power, grace and love of Jesus Christ”.

The church board calls for prayers for the couple and their family at this difficult time.

Like every week, we then offer you an update on the situation of persecuted Christians. 

On Thursday March 17, around 1 a.m., a predominantly Christian village in Kaduna State, Nigeria, was attacked. The assailants, believed to be Fulani herders, according to Morning Star News sources, abducted 46 Christians, along with a number of their children.

Also in Kaduna State in Nigeria on Sunday evening, insurgents attacked Kagoro town. The state government mourns the death of 34 people, including 2 soldiers, as well as the burning of more than 200 houses, 32 shops and several places of worship.

Discover on the InfoChrétienne website recent testimonies which shed light on the daily persecution suffered by Christians in Pakistan.

According to a report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide published on March 22, cases of violations of freedom of religion or belief have increased in Cuba amid "unprecedented civil unrest".

As often, the editorial of the week ends with a bit of culture.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Alice and Dan Luiten who recently released a new album entitled "Ma Dévotion".

This album, which comes with a book, is a real invitation to live a heart-to-heart with God and to meditate thanks to 30 songs and 30 thoughts written by the couple with the help of author Marie Agostini. Very sweet songs of praise to accompany our times of devotion.

On tour to present this album for several months, Alice and Dan Luiten will perform on April 1 at the French Connect church in London.

Camille Westphal Perrier

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