Top of the Week: Turkish Evangelist Sentenced to 8,568 Years in Prison for Multiple Heinous Crimes
Following are snippets of the top stories posted over the past week on charismanews.com. We encourage you to visit the links to read the stories in full.
A Turkish Muslim televangelist, who has been arrested multiple times in the past and who has spent time in both prison and a mental hospital over the years, has been sentenced to 8,568 years in prison by a court in Turkey.
Described as a cult leader, Adnan Oktar, 66, was convicted of both sexual assault and abuse of minors, bbc.com reported. He was originally given a jail sentence of 1,075 years, but an appeals court ordered a retrial involving 215 defendants. Ten of them were given more than 8,000 years in prison by the court in Istanbul, and many of the other defendants were given shorter terms.
A highly controversial preacher and leader of what many termed as a "cult," Oktar constantly surrounded himself with young women whom he referred to as his "kittens," the BBC reported. He owned his own television channel, through which he delivered religious sermons.
A new study from Barna Research Group revealed that one the biggest reasons many pastors give for quitting the ministry is the political division within their church.
Amazingly, 38% of pastors pointed to "current political divisions" as a factor for them making a potential career change. Both mainline (66%) and non-mainline Protestant pastors (53%) expressed a concern that "Christians are more loyal to their political views than their faith."
Of those surveyed, mainline Protestant pastors were more likely than non-mainline pastors to see political division as a problem within their congregation, an issue that has affected their ability to do their kingdom job.
The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, has enjoyed international success since it opened in July 2016.
The attractions that the Answers in Genesis (AiG) group have constructed have seen over 10 million visitors to date.
Now, their God-given success is seeing another large project get underway: the purchase of the 205,000-square-foot former Toyota North America engineering and manufacturing headquarters from Corporex.
Perhaps the most common complaint that the secular side of society has against the Christian church, is that they think Christians are too judgmental.
That any little misstep by somebody either inside or outside the church is going to send a wave of condemnation and finger wagging their way.
This attitude has driven countless people away from attending church over the years, and it is still prevalent today.
There is an explosive underground church movement happening across Iran right now. For a country that has suffered extreme suppression, people are searching for hope and truth. God is visiting Iran and they aren't passing up His invitation.
We sat down with Lana Silk with Transform Iran to talk about the supernatural visitations, miraculous conversions and move of the Holy Spirit in the country. The boldness of the underground church will inspire you and encourage you to step out boldly in your faith to love Jesus with everything you have.
In early September, a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini was traveling to Tehran to visit family. She was arrested by the morality police for wearing a hijab improperly. Mahsa suffered a concussion while in custody and later died. Since then, protests have continued as women burn their hijabs and cut their hair to show the current regime that they are tired of being suppressed.