By Christy Barritt
Stranger Raises $35K for Exonerated Prisoner
When a Brooklyn man was exonerated after serving nearly 25 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit, a stranger felt a call to action.
Alex Sutaru heard the story of Jonathan Fleming, who’d been freed from prison after a key piece of evidence proved his innocence. Local news stations aired multiple stories on Fleming’s ordeal and his positive attitude throughout everything.
However, Fleming was released back into society with no home or job or money. He said he had $93 in his bank account and was living from house to house with various cousins.
Sutaru, a 32-year-old Wall Street banker, went online and created a fundraising campaign. Within days he’d raised nearly $35,000 from more than 600 people in 12 countries. Fleming can now afford a place to live and food to eat.
Fleming said that he never thought people would do something like this for him.
Only a Third of Americans Say Bible Should Be Taken Literally
A new Gallup poll shows that only 28 percent of Americans believe that the Bible is “the actual word of God” and that it should be “taken literally, word for word.”
In 1979, around 40 percent of Americans agreed with that statement. The number has declined every year since then, except in 2012.
Nearly half of Americans agree that the Bible is the “inspired Word of God,” but that all of its content should not be taken literally. A record high 21 percent think that the Bible is an “ancient book of fables, legends, history, and moral precepts recorded by man.”
Gallup asked these questions as a part of its annual Values and Belief Poll.
School Principal Works God into Speech
Principal Kevin Lowery in Lebanon, Missouri, found a clever way to say exactly what he wanted during a public high school graduation in June. Even though religious references were banned from the ceremony, he found unique ways to work God into what he said.
In his speech he referenced “In God We Trust” being on U.S. currency, as well as in the original version of “The Star Spangled Banner.” He told the students that the fact that “God is reflected in the very fabric of our nation” would be inappropriate to mention at a secular ceremony. He also said that though it wouldn’t be politically correct to have an official prayer, he asked everyone to have a moment of silence.
He drew a huge applause from the crowd, but now he’s under attack by atheist groups. A spokesman for American Atheists said the speech was “extremely objectionable” and also called the principal “dishonorable and underhanded.”
Top 10 Countries Where Christians Face Violent Attacks
Open Doors, a persecution watchdog group, released its list of the top 10 countries where Christians face the most violent attacks for their faith. Topping the list was Nigeria, where an alarming trend of violence against Christians has heightened in recent months. According to Open Doors USA President and CEO, Dr. David Curry, even identifying oneself as Christian in the country can turn into a bloodbath.
Other countries on the list were: Syria, Egypt, Central African Republic, Mexico, Pakistan, Colombia, India, Kenya, and Iraq. Between November 1, 2012 and March 21, 2014, there were 2,073 Christians killed in Nigeria, followed by 1,479 in Syria.
Curry encourages Christians in the West to stand in the gap for Christians in these countries by sending prayers and support to those living without religious freedom.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.