The Christmas Truce - 100 Years Ago
On Christmas Eve 1914, a spontaneous cease-fire was observed across the whole of the Western Front. The Christmas Truce of the First World War, a singular event unprecedented in the history of warfare, initially received widespread media coverage in the New York Times of 31 December 1914, followed by British newspapers, such as the Mirror, The Illustrated London News and the Times, which printed front page photographs of British and German troops mingling and singing Christmas carols.
The French government was the first to severely censor any reports on what they called "fraternisation with the enemy." Political pressure was brought to bear to censor all reports of the event from mainstream history books for decades. For years the extraordinary event was known only by word of mouth from participants. The damage caused by the Christmas Truce to propaganda campaigns to
demonise the enemy, was regarded as a serious threat to the war. It has taken decades to unearth the details of the fascinating events surrounding Christmas 1914.
25 Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall
1989 was a momentous year. Across the world, from Trafalgar to Tiananmen Square, voices long repressed began to be heard. Unrest became pandemic. Nation after nation began to shake off the shackles that had bound them and assert their human rights and religious freedom. Those were heady days - 25 years ago.
Decades of Bible smuggling and Gospel radio broadcasts, behind the Iron Curtain, had supported the tenacious persecuted Christians who were winning their neighbours, and even some of their persecutors, to Christ.
Why Celebrate the Reformation?
Twenty years ago a Frontline Fellowship Mission team was approaching a remote village in Cuando Cubango province (what the Portuguese refered to as the ends of the earth) in Angola. The team heard the sound of enthusiastic singing. They immediately recognised the tune, even though they could not understand the words.
A Mighty Fortress is Our God
What they were hearing was: Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott (A Mighty Fortress is our G
od), Dr. Martin Luther's great Battle Hymn of the Reformation, in Ovimbundu. This beloved Hymn, based on Psalm 46, is one of the favourite Hymns of the Persecuted Church, and one of the most translated Hymns in history.
Confronting Communists with The Gospel
After the decisive South African victories over the Cuban and Communist forces in Angola during the battles along the Lomba River in 1987 and 1988 (Operations Hooper and Modular), the peace talks and cease-fire between the Cubans, Angolans and South Africans, early 1989, led
to having Joint Military Monitoring Commission (JMMC) posts along the South West African/Angolan border.
Across the Border
This seemed like a God-given opportunity for Frontline Fellowship to preach the Word of God to the soldiers on both sides of the border. Accordingly, our field team travelled by helicopter, vehicle and foot to reach various JMMC posts along the Southern Angolan border. Taking full advantage of the cease-fire, we walked into Angola and preached the Gospel to the Angolan troops.
Churches Under Fire in Nigeria
Boko Haram terrorists have destroyed over 180 churches in Borno state, in Northern Nigeria, in the last month. According to Human Rights Watch, the Boko Haram Jihadists have killed over 2,053 people since the beginning of 2014.
According to Rev. Gideon Obasogie, 185 churches have been torched and 190,000 people displaced by Boko Haram's Jihad, in Borno state, in the last month. He described the destruction of churches as "sad, heart-aching and potentially dangerous to the territorial integrity and common good of Nigeria… our church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika and Bazza were ransacked by the callous attacks of the Boko Haram terrorists."