150,000 people attended a two-night open-air music festival in Asuncion, Paraguay April 27-28. Besides the music, there were Christian testimonies by well-known soccer players and messages by evangelist Luis Palau and his son Andrew; 12,000 people indicated they had decided to become followers of Jesus. The festival was broadcast live on two national TV networks, and the elder Palau was given the unprecedented privilege of addressing the Paraguayan Congress. The younger Palau also spoke at a similar festival in Ciudad del Este, with an additional 1,770 people making professions of faith in Jesus.
Recession Hits Churches
According to a story in the Denver Post, the number of US churches losing their buildings due to mortgage foreclosure is continuing to rise. There were 24 church foreclosures in 2008, 67 in 2009, 135 in 2010 and 138 in 2011. The story suggests that one result is that banks are becoming more reluctant to lend money to churches for mortgages.
OK to Drink Pepsi
PepsiCo has issued a Responsible Research Statement saying that it and its contractors will not use any tissues or cell lines derived from human fetuses in developing its products. PepsiCo has a contract with Senomyx to develop flavor enhancers for Pepsi beverages, and Senomyx has been accused of using aborted fetal cell line HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) in its work. The decision brings to an end a year-long boycott of Pepsi products promoted by Children of God for Life.
Since last August, South Korean Customs officials have intercepted 35 shipments containing 17,000 ‘aphrodisiac’ pills made from dehydrated, crushed fetuses. The pills originated in China, where thousands of abortions are performed every day due to China’s policy of limiting families to one child each. The Chinese government has condemned the production and sale of the pills. Scientists say that the pills not only do not increase sexual performance but sometimes contain harmful bacteria.
No Change Yet
Open Doors has named communist North Korea as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians for the tenth straight year. Open Doors says there is no evidence yet that new ruler Kim Jong-Un will change the quasi-religious personality cult used by his father and grandfather to control the country. Open Doors estimates there are 200,000 to 400,000 Christians in the country and that 50,000 to 70,000 of them are being held in prison camps.