VP Pence says advancement of religious freedom & defense of persecuted Christians & other faith communities must be a top priority. Heading to Israel & Egypt in December. Here’s the latest.

Pence-InDefenseofChristians(Jerusalem, Israel) — In the face of genocide against Christians in the Middle East, the United States government is finally making the advancement of international religious freedom — and solidarity with persecuted Christians and other faith communities — a top priority.

Several days ago, Vice President Mike Pence delivered the keynote address at a conference in Washington organized by the group, “In Defense of Christians.” You can watch the full speech by clicking here. You can read the full text by clicking here. I encourage you to do both, and share it with family friends. It was an excellent address, and very encouraging to see the seriousness with which this administration is taking the issue.

Pence said he will soon travel to Israel and Egypt, in part to advance the issue. “President Trump has directed me to go to the Middle East in December,” the V.P. told the assembled Christian leaders. “And I promise you one of the messages that I will bring on the President’s behalf to leaders across the region is that now is the time to bring an end to the persecution of Christians and all religious minorities.”

Pence also noted that “President Trump has nominated a great leader and a great man of faith to be our Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Governor Sam Brownback.” I’ve known Brownback for more than twenty years (and recently had dinner with him and his wife in Jerusalem), and I can’t tell you how encouraged I am by his appointment. He co-wrote the U.S. dealing with religious freedom, and I have full confidence he will pursue the issue with vigor.

Please continue praying for persecuted followers of Jesus Christ and other religious minorities throughout the Middle East and around the world. Please pray for the President, Vice President, Ambassador-designate Brownback and other administration and Congressional leaders as they work to defeat the forces of Radical Islam and come alongside suffering faith communities of all kinds in the region.

I also commend to your attention a new report we just issued from The Joshua Fund on “The State of the Epicenter 2017: How Many Followers of Jesus Are There?”

Here are excerpts from the VP’s address…..

AMONG THE MOST PERSECUTED IN THE WORLD

  • The Bible tells us that: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” and the flocks you shepherd are among the most persecuted in all of the world. It’s largely what brings us here tonight.
  • Nearly 2,000 years ago, the disciples of Jesus left their home country. They left their land, radiating outward from Israel in every direction, bringing with them the Good News that is proclaimed to this day. But sadly today, Christianity is under unprecedented assault in those ancient lands where it first grew….
  • Let me assure you tonight, President Trump and I see these crimes for what they are — vile acts of persecution animated by hatred for Christians and the Gospel of Christ. And so too does this President know who and what has perpetrated these crimes, and he calls them by name — radical Islamic terrorists.
  • The practitioners of terror seek to stamp out all religions that are not their own, and believers of many backgrounds have suffered grievously at their hands — Yazidis, Druze, and even their fellow Muslims.
  • Yet these barbarians harbor a special hatred for the followers of Christ. And under the unwavering attacks, Christianity now faces an exodus in the Middle East unrivaled since the days of Moses.

GENOCIDE  IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

  • It’s heartbreaking to think that the Christian population in Syria has been cut in half in just the past six years — plummeting from over 1.25 million to only 500,000 today.
  • In Iraq, the followers of Christ have fallen by 80 percent in the past decade and a half. And across the wider Middle East, we can now see a future in many areas without the Christian faith. But tonight, I came to tell you: Help is on the way….

WINNING THE WAR AGAINST THE ISLAMIC STATE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

  • Under the leadership of President Donald Trump be assured this administration calls these vicious actions by ISIS what they truly are — they are genocide and they are crimes against humanity. And we will call them what they are.
  • As a candidate, our President pledged to “crush and destroy ISIS.” And today, thanks to the courage of American Armed Forces and the resolve of our Commander-in-Chief, I’m pleased to report that ISIS is on the run.
  • Three years ago, those barbarians celebrated in the streets of their self-declared capital in Raqqa. They proclaimed the start of a thousand-year caliphate as they raised their black flags across the region, but those black flags no longer fly in Raqqa.
  • Just last week, American and allied forces liberated Raqqa, and across Syria, and Iraq, the caliphate is crumbling. And you can be assured, we will not rest, we will not relent until we hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source — so it can no longer threaten our people or anyone who calls the Middle East home.
  • But for the believers in that ancient land, we know that victory in combat is only half the battle. Just as important as driving ISIS out of existence is making sure that we provide aid and comfort to those who have suffered so much loss and grief and ensure that they can avail themselves of their right to return….

PROMOTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

  • The right to worship according to the dictates of our conscience is at the very heart of who we are as Americans, as men and women created in the image and likeness of God. And protecting and promoting religious freedom is a foreign-policy priority of the Trump administration.
  • As evidence, President Trump has nominated a great leader and a great man of faith to be our Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Governor Sam Brownback.

PROVIDING U.S. AID TO PERSECUTED COMMUNITIES

  • Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly. And tonight, it is my privilege to announce that President Trump has ordered the State Department to stop funding ineffective relief efforts at the United Nations.
  • And from this day forward, America will provide support directly to persecuted communities through USAID.
  • We will no longer rely on the United Nations alone to assist persecuted Christians and minorities in the wake of genocide and the atrocities of terrorist groups. The United States will work hand-in-hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith.
    This is the moment. Now is the time. And America will support these people in their hour of need.

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order a copy of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — or to buy as a set — please click here.

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How many followers of Jesus are there in the Mideast? Read the new “State of the Epicenter 2017” report.

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(Jerusalem, Israel) — Over the last few months, my Joshua Fund colleagues and I have been working on a new report concerning the “State of the Epicenter 2017.”  Working with pastors, ministry leaders and experts in the region, we carefully examined the question of how many followers of Jesus Christ currently reside in Israel, the Palestinian territories, and in the five Arab neighbors around Israel.

It was the first time since my wife, Lynn, and I founded The Joshua Fund in 2006 that our team has drilled down into the data — and the trend lines — to assess the health and growth (or decline) or the church, country by country.

Personally, I found the research fascinating, and the results encouraging. At the recent Epicenter Conference held in Orange County, California, I shared those results with the attendees. Now I’d like to share the results with you

STATE OF THE EPICENTER 2017: HOW MANY FOLLOWERS OF JESUS ARE THERE?

“I will build My Church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” – The Lord Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18, ESV)

Many in the Epicenter are being shaken as perhaps never before in human history. Syria is imploding. Iraq is convulsing. Lebanon and Jordan have been overrun by millions of refugees. Egypt has undergone multiple revolutions. Israelis and Palestinians, meanwhile, have faced repeated waves of violence.

The Church has also been deeply shaken. Many followers of Jesus Christ throughout the region have been horribly persecuted and targeted by terrorists. Church buildings have been bombed, set ablaze, and riddled with machine gun fire. Christians have been captured, enslaved, tortured, and beheaded. Some have even been crucified.

Yet even amidst such darkness, we can rejoice and give thanks because the Holy Spirit is on the move to advance Christ’s unshakeable kingdom. “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28)

Consider these encouraging facts:

  • News of such wars, persecution and suffering has unleashed a great movement of prayer by believers around the world for the Church and the lost in the Epicenter.
  • Followers of Jesus in the Middle East are boldly and creatively communicating the Gospel to their people using satellite television, radio broadcasts, the Internet, Bible distribution, literature distribution, and their own personal witness – indeed, they are reaching more people in the region than ever before.
  • Millions of Jews and Muslims are now able to hear, read and consider the Gospel message in their own heart languages – just as remarkable, many are open to considering the claims of Jesus for the first time in their lives.
  • As a result of so much prayer and faithful seed planting, pastors and ministry leaders throughout the Epicenter report signs of hope – after centuries of spiritual drought, the Church in the Middle East is bearing fruit again. Jews and Muslims are coming to faith, and are being baptized and discipled. There is much to do, but real progress is being made.

In some ways, the current environment is evocative of the First Century. Amidst tremendous hardship and persecution, believers are reaping a harvest by God’s grace.

  • “The news about Him [Jesus] spread throughout all Syria, and….large crowds followed Him from Galilee and the Decapolis and Jerusalem and Judea and from beyond the Jordan.” (Matthew 4:24-25)
  • “When the Gentiles heard [the Gospel], they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region.” (Acts 13:48-49)
  • “After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present. After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, ‘You see, brother, how many ten thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed….” (Acts 21:17-20)

To be sure, one must be careful with numbers. Some Western ministry leaders and local pastors can, at times, be tempted to exaggerate progress to friends and donors. Likewise, Radical Islamists and Jewish anti-missionaries can report to their compatriots and donors inflated numbers of Jews and Muslims coming to faith in the Lord Jesus in an attempt to exaggerate a perceived “threat” to their communities.

That said, interviews with a wide range of Arab and Messianic pastors and ministry leaders in the region, and a review of relevant articles, books and studies, provide a useful, if imprecise, snapshot of the state of the Church in the Epicenter.

ISRAEL

  • 25,000 to 30,000 born again believers attend Messianic congregations in Israel.
  • 4,000 to 5,000 Arab Evangelical Christians openly worship Jesus in Israel….

[To read the rest of this report, including the most recent estimates of followers of Jesus in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq — including detailed end notes — please click here.]

[To watch videos of the speakers and panel discussions at the 2017 Epicenter Conference in Orange County, California, please click here.]

NOTE: Please share this report and the Epicenter Conference videos with family and friends on social media.

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order a copy of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — or to buy as a set — please click here.

New York Times bestselling trilogy about ISIS threat released as mass market paperbacks this week from Tyndale.

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(Orange County, California) — I’m excited to announce that all three of my political thrillers about the threat of ISIS to the U.S., Europe and our allies in the Middle East have just been released  in mass market paperback. You can buy them individually, or a set.

All of my previous novels initially release in hardcover (a growing rarity in the publishing world these days), and are later as “trade paperbacks.” These are the first to be released in the smaller mass market format and are now available at airports, drug stores, etc., and, of course, are available for purchase on-line.

Here is the press release from Tyndale:

The Complete Collection of J.B. Collins Novels by Joel C. Rosenberg Now Available In Mass Market Paperback From Tyndale House Publishers

CAROL STREAM, Ill., Oct. 3, 2017 The J.B. Collins Collection featuring three New York Times bestselling political thrillers by author Joel C. Rosenberg, The Third Target, The First Hostage and Without Warning, is now available as a paperback series from Tyndale House Publishers.

This is the first time all three novels are available in a bundled collection; the first book in the series released in 2015. All three titles garnered critical acclaim upon release and endorsements from CIA directors, generals, members of Congress, governors and even world leaders. Additionally, The Third Target was a 2016 Christian Book Award finalist and Without Warning is currently a finalist for a 2017 Christy Award in the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller category.

“If there were a Forbes 400 list of great current novelists, Joel Rosenberg would be among the top ten … One of the most entertaining and intriguing authors of international political thrillers in the country … His novels are un-put-downable,” said Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine.

The J.B. Collins Collection follows New York Times foreign correspondent J.B. Collins as he trails a journalistic lead that takes him down a dangerous path.

The page-turning story begins in The Third Target when Collins hears rumors that an al-Qaeda splinter cell—ISIS—has captured a cache of chemical weapons inside Syria. He knows this is a story he must pursue at all costs. With terrorist forces trying to bring down two Arab governments and the U.S. president about to make a trip to the region, Collins attempts to uncover the terrorists’ plot before it’s too late.

JBCollins-massmarkets-graphic

Collins’ journey continues in The First Hostage when he puts the entire world on high alert with an alarming message: “The president of the United States … is missing.” With leaders of Israel and Palestine critically injured, Jordan’s king fighting for his life, and the U.S. president presumed captured, Collins must work with the Secret Service to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

The saga concludes with a surprising ending in the final book, Without Warning, which follows Collins as he attempts to convince the President of the United States of the possible imminent catastrophic attack inside the American homeland if an all-out manhunt to capture or kill Abu Khalif, the leader of ISIS, is not conducted immediately.

Upon releasing in March 2017, Without Warning landed on numerous prominent bestsellers lists, including The New York Times, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and The Washington Post.

As a former political aide to U.S. and Israeli leaders, Rosenberg’s story lines are derived from his personal conversations with world leaders and intelligence operatives and have been described as being “ripped from tomorrow’s headlines.” A wide range of leaders around the world endorse his books, including Lt. General (Ret.) William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the former commander of Delta Force; former presidential candidates Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rick Santorum; former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Porter Goss; and former CIA operative in Iran and bestselling author Reza Kahlili.

Rosenberg’s next novel, The Kremlin Conspiracy, will release in March 2018 and is the first book in a new series that will introduce readers to Marcus Ryker, a former United States Secret Service agent. For more information about the forthcoming title or The J.B. Collins Collection, visit JoelRosenberg.com.

October 6 & 7 — I’ll be speaking at the 2017 Epicenter Conference in Orange County, California. The focus of the conference is, “What does the Future Hold for Israel and Her Neighbors?” Please register today.

 

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> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.

> To order a copy of the new mass market paperbacks of the J.B. Collins novels — or to buy as a set — please click here.

 

“Deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.” 59 dead, 500+ wounded. Here’s what we know so far from Las Vegas. (updated)

LasVegas-headline

UPDATES:

ORIGINAL POST: Americans are waking up to horrific news of sheer evil in Las Vegas. At least 50 people have been murdered, and more than 200 have been wounded.

Here’s what we know so far….

  • “Deadliest shooting in U.S. history.” (CNN) (ABC News)
  • Warning 45 minutes before the attack: “You’re all going to die.” (UK Express)
  • “Las Vegas gunman suspect is Stephen Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada.” (CNBC)
  • “[T]he Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said the suspect was shot dead by officers and that authorities were confident there was no longer a threat….police found numerous firearms in the room he occupied and that officers were also at his residence.” (Wall Street Journal)
  • “Authorities said law enforcement swarmed the hotel and killed the gunman in a room on the 32nd floor. Responding officers used an explosive device to force the door open into the room to shoot Paddock dead, law enforcement officials told Fox News.” (Fox News)
  • “Police don’t believe there are any more shooters. ‘Right now, we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor,’ the sheriff said.” (CNN)
  • “A gunman killed at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 at a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, raining down rapid fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel for several minutes before he was shot dead by police.” (Reuters)
  • “The death toll, which police emphasized was preliminary and tentative, would make the attack the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, eclipsing last year’s massacre of 49 people at an Orlando night club.” (Reuters)
  • “Pray for Las Vegas,” the city’s mayor, Carolyn Goodman, tweeted. “Thank you to all our first responders out there now.” (CNN)

Developing….

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>> To pre-order a copy of The Kremlin Conspiracy (which releases March 6th), please click here.