HAPPY NEW YEAR. I look forward to your input on how to make Globe Trot better and more useful to you in 2015. At WORLD we begin our 30th volume of the magazine, and as we greet the year, we are eager for what the Lord will do in it.
IRAQ: The displaced Christians in Iraq are bold with Christmas trees and other displays, despite the danger they face. “Don’t be surprised that Iraq’s persecuted Christian communities will be celebrating Christmas,” an Iraqi Christian there told me today. “The persecuted Iraqis identify with the trials and tribulations of Jesus Christ, while embracing the Christian theme of redemption, which offers us hope in the time of despair.”
FREEDOM FOR CHIBOK GIRLS?: The Nigerian government claims it has reached a ceasefire agreement with the terrorist group Boko Haram and says the militants have agreed to release the kidnapped schoolgirls from Chibok on Monday.
We hope this report is true but will believe it when we see results, especially after the Nigerian government faced heavy criticism in April for publishing untrue claims that most of the girls had been released shortly after their kidnapping.
Cuba’s communist government has increased its oppression of religious institutions, according to a Christian watchdog group, with reports of religious liberty violations almost doubling in the last six months.