Brunson heads home for next phase of ministry
International | Plus, news about the Saudis, Hmong, and an American in Israeli detention
by Mindy Belz
Posted 10/15/18, 12:37 pm
TURKEY: Andrew Brunson, 50, and his wife, Norine, arrived on Saturday in the United States, one day after a three-judge panel freed the American pastor while finding him guilty on terrorism charges. The verdict likely ends Brunson’s decades of church planting and ministry in Izmir. Brunson told reporters after meeting with President Donald Trump that he and his wife plan to go home, pray, and “see what God wants for the next part of our lives.”
SAUDI ARABIA: President Donald Trump announced he’s sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh after speaking Monday morning with King Salman. The ruler “denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened” to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump tweeted. U.S. intelligence sources have indicated they have evidence of a Saudi rendition-like plan to apprehend Khashoggi, while Turkish authorities say they believe he was brutally killed by a 15-member Saudi squad inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Two princes—Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Jared Kushner—face a reckoning over the disappearance of Khashoggi, a legal U.S. resident. The Washington Post, where Khashoggi contributed, once hailed the crown prince’s “ambitious” vision to redirect the House of Saud, but now it reports there’s “a dark and bullying side” to the 33-year-old ruler. Other outlets agree “tyranny has intensified” under the crown prince.
VIETNAM: An underground Bible school in Hanoi is fueling expansive growth of Christianity among oppressed people groups: Of the more than 1 million Hmong in Vietnam, an estimated 400,000 are Christians.
ISRAEL: U.S. citizen Lara Alqasem, who was barred from entering Israel because she supported a Palestinian-led boycott movement, has appealed a court verdict to the Israeli Supreme Court. Authorities will continue to detain the 22-year-old student until the appeal is heard Wednesday.
ENGLAND: British retailer Marks & Spencer is selling black hijabs in its school uniform section, sparking controversy because they are sized young enough for preschoolers. The head coverings are required by law only in a few Muslim majority countries, and typically girls do not wear them until they reach puberty.
Also, it turns out the tabloids have been right all these months: Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry are expecting, with a baby due this spring.
BELGIUM: Pity the technician servicing an F-16 at Florennes Air Base when he accidently fired its rotary gun, destroying another F-16 on the tarmac.
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