14 Signs Of Regeneration

Credit | Wretched 

Q&A | Pastor John MacArthur

Credit | Grace to You

The Great Commandment

Credit | Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church

Praising God for Your Salvation

Credit | Grace to You (Sep 23, 2018)

Who Are You? (John 1:19-28)

Sermon ASL commentary on John 1:19-28 (Sep 23, 2018)
Credit | Deaf Reformed Church

Intolerance towards Religious Minorities in Pakistan Increasing | Report

Pakistan Today | Human Rights Commission of Pakistan’s (HRCP) National Interfaith Working Group held its inaugural meeting the other day where it discussed the facilitation of interfaith dialogue and collective advocacy, awareness, and action to protect the fundamental rights of religious minorities.
Members of civil society, media, government and political parties were present in the meeting which discussed the group’s future strategy and plan of action.
Former senator Farhatullah Babar said that despite constitutional guarantees, religious injunctions and international covenants signed by Pakistan, the rights of minorities have been shrinking, and intolerance toward them by the state and by society increasing.
He suggested that the HRCP engage bodies like the National Commission on Human Rights, the Ministry of Human Rights, the human rights committees of the Senate and National Assembly to combat this problem and promote interfaith peace in the country. Babar asserted that attention should be given on setting up caucuses, similar to the women’s caucus, in parliament and provincial assemblies to take up the causes of religious minorities.
Former senator Afrasiab Khattak also emphasised the importance of democratic struggle in this regard and called for a need to establish an interfaith committee to address the issues faced by the religious minorities.
Criticising the government for removing renowned economist Mian Atif from the Economic Advisory Council, MNA Bushra Gohar said that for the last 70 years, religion has been considered to be a personal matter and the state’s only role is that of a facilitator. She also said that political parties step back and play a defensive role when they face pressure from extremist groups.
A representative of the Hazara community, Fatima Atif, present at the meeting said their community has not officially been declared a minority but is still suffering because of their faith.
Romana, a Christian, also criticised organisations that believed Christians were there to work as cleaners and sweepers.
A circular, issued at the end of the meeting, read: “Apart from regular interaction with local and provincial stakeholders, including political representatives, the group will also carry out fact-finding exercises to monitor and promote freedom of religion and belief across the country, based on local realities and needs.”
It added that given the wave of religiously motivated violence this year alone, the HRCP believes it is critical that policymakers and civil society be prepared to take bolder and more consistent stances of freedom of religion and belief.

Christian Family’s House, Van Torched in Land Grab Bid in Gujar Khan

Lahore, Pakistan (Pakistan Today) A poor Christian family is running from pillar to post for justice after members of a local land mafia, allegedly patronised by the brother of a former prime minister, tortured them and set their house on fire in Gujar Khan, Pakistan Today has learnt.
Bashir Masih, a retired sanitary worker of the Punjab Health Department, said that his house was attacked by at least 12 armed men on Sept 21, Ashura day.
“My wife and I were standing on our doorstep when two accused – Imran and Ihsan – attacked us without any provocation on Sept 20. They called us Choorha (a derogatory term used for Pakistani Christians) and beat both of us mercilessly,” said the 60-year-old man, adding that he could not find any plausible reason for the attack given the fact that they were the only Christian family in the village and had never been involved in any dispute with the assailants.
Masih and his wife have four sons, all of whom are married and have 4-5 children each. The family settled in the village 5 years ago and have been living together ever since.
“The next day, around 4 am, a person named Muhammad Kamran telephoned my son Fayyaz and threatened him to vacate the house within three days failing which they would kill us all,” Masih said, adding that the gangsters were part of the local land mafia allegedly protected by Raja Javed Ashraf, the brother of former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
Masih said the family was still reeling from the other day’s attack when around 3.30pm at least 12 assailants, armed with weapons, stormed their house and attacked the family, ruthlessly beating the men, women and children.
“They stripped the clothes of my daughters-in-law and forced them out on the street. They also threw the children, some as young as two, against the walls. My sons and I were hit with gun butts and iron rods amid volleys of abuse and threats,” he said, adding that the gangsters kept shooting in the air the entire time as the entire village looked on in silence.
Masih said that the assailants also looted jewellery and other valuables and then set the house and a Suzuki van owned by his son on fire before escaping the scene.
Though the Gujar Khan Police have registered an FIR [First Information Report] No. 504/18 against 12 men, none of the accused has been arrested so far.
Sub-Inspector Khaliq Khan of Gujar Khan Police Station said all of the accused nominated by the family had obtained pre-arrest bail, however, their bails would be canceled as they had been charged under non-bailable offences.
Khan said the incident appeared to be an attempt to grab the family’s property; however, the matter would become clearer after the arrest of the accused.
Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and his brother Javed Ashraf remained unavailable for comment.
The Pakistan Centre for Law and Justice (PCLJ) is providing legal assistance to the family, said Napolean Qayyum, an official of the rights outfit.
Qayyum said the incident was clearly an attempt to grab the house of the Christian family as all the accused nominated in the FIR were notorious in the area for their criminal activities.

Pakistan Calls For Increased Funding Globally For Education | Education Minister at UN Summit

United Nations (The News International) |Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood stressed on the significance of education in ensuring a more stable future for the countries, during his UN address on Monday.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader addressing an international conference planned on the brims of the General Assembly at the United Nations revealed that the key to moving forward is investing in the country’s educational sector while calling for an increased aid internationally for education in Pakistan.
The observations made by the Minster of Education and Professional Training were put forth during the conference concerning the idea of ‘Unlocking Human Potential through International Finance Facility for Education’.
Mehmood further went on to stress that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s new government is laying great emphasis on ensuring children presently out of school in the country are enrolled on an immediate basis.
Moreover he also added that participation by the International Development Partners would also been well received by the country while also emphasizing that financing of educational activities is not disintegrated and remains ‘on a budget.’
Additionally, Mehmood also met with Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation H.E. Dr Mary Kamel Kawar as well as Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship at the UN Hon Ahmed Hussen.
The meeting organized by Britain’s former premier Gordon Brown at the UN Headquarters in New York was attended and addressed by illustrious names including Prime Minister Hasina Wajid of Bangladesh, President Republic of Malawi, Arthur Peter Mutharika, Jim Yong King, President of the World Bank and Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.

Google to Allow Certain Cryptocurrency Ads in US, Japan

REUTERS | Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Tuesday it would allow certain regulated cryptocurrency exchanges to advertise in the United States and Japan, easing an earlier ban on all cryptocurrency ads.
The changes will take place in October and advertisers will need to be certified with Google for the country where the ads will appear, the search engine giant said in a blog here post.
The company said in March it would ban advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, starting June.
Google’s action follows a similar move by Facebook Inc. The social media giant has allowed certain ads promoting cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers, while banning those tied to binary options and initial coin offerings.
Google's move to ban such ads in March had sent the price of the best-known cryptocurrency, bitcoin, down more than 10 percent.

SOC Films’ Latest Animated Short Highlights Domestic Violence

Pakistan (NewsBytes/The News International) Having launched a public service campaign Aagahi to educate women about their legal rights in Pakistan, SOC films, helmed by documentary film maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, brings out the second animated short as part of the initiative. The latest short highlights the issue of domestic violence, which is very common in Pakistan.
With Aamina Sheikh on the vocals, the recently released animation is divided into two parts. The first video explains what domestic violence is and how to identify different forms of abuse such as physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse. Also, how to detect when and if someone around is suffering from abuse. The second part informs viewers on how to seek protection against domestic violence. With the purpose of educating women on the various steps one can take to protect themselves, the video speaks about filing an FIR, seeking a protection order, visiting a medico-legal center at a government hospital, or seeking refuge at a shelter if needed. The video also shares contact information of various helplines, counseling services, shelters, and legal support services that are available to survivors of domestic violence in Pakistan.
Aagahi is a series of 14 short animated films produced by SOC Films. The first short was released earlier this month and aimed to educate women on how to file an FIR.

Christians Duty to God & King

Credit | Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church

Who Is the Most Significant Person from the Last Thousand Years?

When we watch the news, it seems like the most important people are alive today and the most important events are happening right now. In this video, Sinclair Ferguson explains why Christians need a much bigger perspective of what God has done through history. 
Credit | Ligonier Ministries

The Christian’s Confidence from God’s Promises

Credit | Grace to You

The Startling Servant of Jehovah (Isaiah 52:13-15)

Credit | Grace to You

Social Justice and the Gospel | Complete Sermon

Credit | Grace to You

Jesus on the Resurrection

Credit | Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church

Formulation of New Christian Divorce Bill

Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Pakistan’s Minister for Human Rights Dr. Shireen Mazari has ensured that a new Christian Divorce bill will be formulated. At the same time, she reiterated that Hindu marriage and divorce laws will be implemented in the country. She expressed commitment towards religious minorities in Pakistan.
For this purpose, a delegation consisting of representatives from Christian and Hindu communities called on the Federal Minister. The delegation aimed to discuss the legislation concerning protection of religious minorities. On this occasion, the delegates presented their ideas with Dr. Mazari.
During the meeting, Rights Minister told the delegation that government had opted to take tangible steps in order to boost protection measures of the minorities. She said that by means of a comprehensive strategy; protection and dispensation of constitutional rights of minorities will be made sure. Dr. Mazari said that she was surprised after learning that Hindu marriage and divorce law had not been implemented.
“The government is committed to protect the due rights of minorities to ensure their freedom and security,” Federal Minister told her guests while adding that the government prioritizes improving the socio-economic status of minorities by making sure that their constitutional rights were being dispensed.
She briefed the delegation about government’s policies aimed to protect human rights of its citizens. The delegates were told that government has been taking efficacious steps so that minorities can enjoy a better status. Religious minorities are enjoying religious freedom and security, she said. At the same time, she stated that minorities were enjoying equal status in Pakistan.
Members of the delegation, applauded government’s efforts lauding the performance of the Ministry of Human Rights for protecting and promoting minorities’ rights. Members from Christian and Hindu communities assured their support for betterment of the country.
In October 2017, a delegation of Christians including priest, lawyers, academics and civil society members asked for a change in the Christian Divorce Act 1869 and the Christian Marriage Act 1870. They demanded that these laws had become outdated and needed to be amended.
Then Human Rights Minister Mumtaz Ahmed Tarar decided to forward a Christian Marriage and Divorce Bill 2017 to the law ministry. The Christians recommended that the bill’s provisions must be in accordance with the Biblical teachings. The members of the delegation told the then Rights’ minister that draft of the Christian marriage and divorce bill was finalized after reaching consensus with churches from all mainstream denominations and Christians community.

The Word Became Flesh (John 1:14-18)

ASL Commentary on John 1:14-18.  Sermon:  The Word Became Flesh
CreditDeaf Reformed Church (Sep 16, 2018)

WhatsApp to Reportedly launch 'Dark Mode'

The News International | Widely acclaimed messaging platform WhatsApp may be bringing forward a new feature that will transform its outlook since its initial launch.
According to reports,  the messaging mobile application may be launching the ‘dark mode’ feature as part of its upcoming updates, thereby altering the simple and uncluttered UI it has been clinging on to since it first launched in 2009.
Presently, the app only provides users with an option to change the wallpaper background for their chats that exists as the only minimal means of customization.
The shift from repetition that the ‘Dark Mode’ provides has become part of various social media applications since the recent past, such as Twitter and YouTube.
On the other hand, Facebook has also announced the launch of the feature for its Messenger app which is as of now, does not have a release date. 

For the First Time in Pakistan’s History a Christian Appointed As Advocate General

Sindh, Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | For the very first time, in the history of Pakistan, Christian got appointed as Advocate General. Sindh government took this hailed step and appointed Advocate Salman Talibuddin who was serving as an additional attorney general.Advocate General has the responsibility to give advice to the Administrative Departments in the legal matters.
In this regard, an official notification was issued on Thursday, September 13 stating that Salman Talibuddin
Advocate was appointed as Advocate General Sindh with immediate effect. He replaced Zameer Ghumro, who resigned in reaction to the remarks by Chief Justice.
Former Sindh Advocate-General Barrister Zamir Hussain Ghumro resigned when the Sindh government finished its tenure. In this regard the Chief Justice of Pakistan remarked about AG saying: “The Sindh government has finished its tenure, but you are still working on the same post.”
This decision has received warm welcome from politicians as well as general public. In a tweet PPP leader Sherry Rehman acknowledged the step taken by her party and said that PPP was empowering the minorities as in line with Quaid-e-Azam’s vision.

Supreme Court of Pakistan to Hire Two Transgenders | Chief Justice

ISLAMABAD (The News International) Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday said two transgenders would be provided jobs in the Supreme Court.
The remarks came as he chaired a bench to hear a case regarding  transgenders' rights.
"In our society transgenders are subjected to ridicule. It is our top most priority to give them their rights," he was quoted as saying by Geo News.
The chief justice said the court would issue notice to NGOs and government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while it hears the case related to basic rights of transgenders.
"Court wants to bring them into mainstream. It wants to resolve their issues," said the CJ while presiding over a three-judge bench.
NADRA Chairman who appeared during the hearing, informed the court upon being asked whether identity cards to all transgender applicants have been issued, that his organization is issuing cards and also initiated a facilitation campaign.
The Chief Justice lamented that the community was facing threats and ridicule in KP.
The court also took an exception to a website that he was told is involved in spreading misleading material against transgenders.
The court was told that an NGO named Blue Van had established the website which claims as many as 500 transgenders have been murdered.

Apple Eyes Fresh Spark with New iPhones and More

Cupertino, United States (AFP) | New iPhones set to be unveiled Wednesday offer Apple a chance for fresh momentum in a sputtering smartphone market as the California tech giant moves into new products and services to diversify.
Apple was expected to introduce three new iPhone models at its media event at its Cupertino campus, notably seeking to strengthen its position in the premium smartphone market a year after launching its $1,000 iPhone X.
To win over buyers in a tight market, Apple was reported to be launching handsets with 30 percent more viewing space without increasing the size of the devices.
"The big thing is going to be how they fit such a massive screen into such a small device," said Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy.
One new iPhone was likely to be priced slightly lower than the X model to "capture the next wave of buyers" in markets such as China, western Europe and the US, according to Moorhead.
While the iPhone has made Apple the world´s most valuable company, worth more than $1 trillion, it has slipped to third place among smartphone makers as Chinese-based Huawei has grabbed the number two spot.
Research firm CB Insights said Apple is at a "crossroads" a decade after introducing the iPhone.
"Looking for the next wave, Apple is clearly expanding into augmented reality and wearables with the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones," the analysts said.
"But the next ´big one´ -- a success and growth driver on the scale of the iPhone -- has not yet been determined. Will it be augmented reality, auto, wearables? Or something else entirely?"
Still, many analysts say Apple has a formula that works with a loyal customer base.
While iPhone sales have slowed, Apple profits have risen along with the average purchase price of its handsets.
The newest and priciest iPhone "didn´t help Apple grow its user base but handsomely contributed with dollars to top line, bottom line and market cap," Counterpoint Research analysts said in a note Tuesday.

Taking on Galaxy

Samsung, the world´s biggest smartphone maker, last month unveiled its latest flagship handset, the Galaxy Note 9, and next month Apple rival Google will hold an event at which it is likely to showcase new Android-powered top-end Pixel phones.
Apple´s event comes with the global smartphone market largely saturated, without a major catalyst for sales ahead of a likely rollout of 5G, or fifth generation wireless networks, expected in 2019.
Research firm IDC expects worldwide smartphone shipments to decline 0.7 percent in 2018 to 1.455 billion units, with growth likely to resume as 5G devices become available.
"We still believe the smartphone market has some healthy growth in the years to come, although finding and competing in those markets and segments is increasingly more challenging," said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.
Apple has sold more than a billion iPhones since the first model was unveiled by late co-founder Steve Jobs in 2007.
The company is in the unique situation of controlling the hardware and software in its mobile devices, with content for users required to go through its App Store that takes a percentage of revenue.

Finding New Streams

With the smartphone market showing little room for growth, Apple has been working to diversify its revenue streams with software, services and other devices including its smartwatch.
The event may see the Apple Watch getting its first significant redesign since its launch three years ago.
"I think that in the long run the watch will be a much larger business than people give it credit for; where Apple can iterate and grow," analyst Stephen Baker of NPD said.
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has touted fitness and health features of the company´s smartwatch, which dominates that market.
The culture-changing company behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad hit a historic milestone last month, becoming the first private-sector company to surpass $1 trillion in market value.
The landmark was the latest victory for Tim Cook, who faced skepticism when he took over as chief executive in 2011 from Jobs just before his death.


Discovered in Pakistan | Plastic-eating Fungus Answer to World’s Waste Crisis

ISLAMABAD (The News International) | A plastic-eating fungus discovered on a rubbish dump in Pakistan could be adapted to destroy waste on land and oceans, international media reported.
The possibility of breaking down plastic waste within weeks rather than hundreds of years will be highlighted when the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew publishes its first report on the fungus. Experts from around the world will gather at the internationally-renowned Kew Gardens in West London this week to discuss the future of research into the conservation and use of fungi.
The scientists working on a rubbish dump in Islamabad found fungus whose enzyme broke down plastics such as polyester polyurethane.

Apple Unveils New Premium iPhone XS, Health Features for Watch

Cupertino, United States (AFP) | Apple on Wednesday unveiled updated versions of its priciest iPhones along with a new smartwatch that allows users to take their own electrocardiograms, as the US tech giant looks to boost its momentum in a sputtering market.
The California tech giant revealed its iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, updating the top-of-the line handsets released a year earlier. The new devices are aimed at maintaining Apple´s share in the premium segment.
"We are going to take iPhone X to the next level," chief executive Tim Cook said at a media event at the company´s headquarters in Cupertino, California.
The new phones have displays of 5.8 and 6.5 inches, boosting screen size while keeping a small-format handset, Apple vice president Phil Schiller said.
The September event allows the company to unveil its latest offerings before the key holiday shopping season.
While the iPhone has made Apple the world´s most valuable company, worth more than $1 trillion, it has slipped to third place among smartphone makers as Chinese-based Huawei has grabbed the number two spot.
Analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy said Apple had done enough "to keep its smartphone growth going until the competition responds."

New Smartwatch Features

Apple also introduced a fourth generation of Apple Watch with a major redesign -- and a series of features designed to improve its performance as a medical and health device.
The watch, sold in the United States from $399 and up, will be available in stores on September 21.
"Apple Watch has become an intelligent guardian for your health," chief operating officer Jeff Williams said.
He highlighted a major innovation -- the watch´s ability to perform an electrocardiogram.
"This is the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers," he said.
"Now you can take an ECG any time, anywhere, right from the wrist."
The device also detects when a person suffers a fall, seen as an important feature for elderly or disabled users.
"Identifying a fall may sound like a straightforward problem, but it requires a lot of data analysis," Williams said.
If a person falls, and then is motionless, the watch will call emergency services, he added.


Research firm CB Insights said Apple is at a "crossroads" a decade after introducing the iPhone.
"Looking for the next wave, Apple is clearly expanding into augmented reality and wearables with the Apple Watch and AirPods wireless headphones," the firm said.
"But the next ´big one´ -- a success and growth driver on the scale of the iPhone -- has not yet been determined. Will it be augmented reality, auto, wearables? Or something else entirely?"
Apple´s event comes with the global smartphone market largely saturated, without a major catalyst for sales ahead of a likely rollout of 5G, or fifth generation, wireless networks, expected in 2019.
Research firm IDC expects worldwide smartphone shipments to decline 0.7 percent in 2018 to 1.455 billion units, with growth likely to resume as 5G devices become available.
Cook said Apple was nearing its two billionth device for its mobile operating system known as iOS.
"We are about to hit a major milestone. We are about to ship our two billionth iOS device," he said.
"This is astonishing -- iOS has changed the way we live."

Pakistan and India have Driven Global Sugar Glut

SYDNEY (Reuters) | The policies of India and Pakistan have contributed to a global glut in the world´s sugar market, Australia´s Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham told Reuters.
"It is clear that export subsidies introduced recently by the Indian and Pakistan Governments have contributed to a growing glut on global markets," Birmingham said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
"has expressed its concerns to the Indian and Pakistani Government at the highest levels in the clearest possible terms.
"Raw sugar futures in New York slumped to a 10-year low of 9.91 cents on Aug. 22 as India and Pakistan both moved ahead with price subsidies to boost local production.
India, which is expected to surpass Brazil and become the world´s largest sugar exporter this year, in May approved a subsidy of 55 Indian rupees ($0.7623) per tonne of cane sold.
Pakistan, whose sugar production has increased in recent years, in January quadrupled the volume of sugar eligible for export subsidies to 2 million tonnes to reduce excessive domestic supplies.
Birmingham´s comments came as Reuters reported Australian and Brazilian sugar industry groups are working on a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over possible sugar export subsidies by India.
Birmingham declined to confirm the report. 

Cyber Crime Law Invoked Against Social Media Post Blaspheming Christian Faith

Pakistan (Christians in Pakistan) | Pakistani Christian community expressed deep grievance over a recent social media post. A Facebook post blaspheming the Holy Trinity provoked Pakistani Christians; as many of them took it to the social media to express their anger. Officials from a Pakistani church reported the blasphemous post to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
This complaint was filed against 4 people for sharing a post offensive to Christians. Followed by circulation of a blasphemous photo of Chief of Army Staff, along with the Premier and the First Lady captioned in away blaspheming the Holy Trinity, National Coordinator of the Church of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Titus Bhatti submitted an application with the cybercrime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency in Lahore.
On September 10, Mr. Imran lodged this application seeking legal action against the perpetrators. “The trinity is among the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith,” he told UCA news. “The titles in this blasphemous post insult my faith. It has caused religious hatred. The further sharing of this post is hurting our feelings.” The applicant urged the authorities to take necessary action against the owners of the Facebook page and to block the “blasphemous,” post. He termed the act as “religious terrorism.”
As a result of this post, Pakistan’s Christian community poured in condemnation upon the act saying that mockery of Christian faith blatantly must be punished. On September 11, reverend Amjad Niamat, Convener of the Pakistan Christian Action Committee, posted a social media video urging Christians community to record their objections in a peaceful manner. He said that the blasphemous post depicted a deplorable behavior of those behind the act. He said that the government and army must take action against such elements giving rise to communal discord.
Pakistani Christian activist, Khalid Shahzad said that Muslim brothers must show respect to Christian faith. “A Christian believes in the Trinity just like you believe in the finality of Prophethood,” he told UCA news. “The Muslim community has imprisoned many illiterate Christians in Punjab jails for blasphemy.”

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UNHCR Chief Hails Pakistan for Hosting Millions of Afghan Refugees

Peshawar (The News International) | The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi on Saturday appreciated the government of Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees for almost four decades and said their voluntary repatriation would continue.
He observed the repatriation process during his visit to the UNHCR Voluntary Repatriation Centre in Azakhel in Nowshera district and met Afghan families.
Filippo Grandi was accompanied by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock and film star Mahira Khan.
He said that during his visit to Pakistan he met Prime Minister Imran Khan who assured him that the Afghan refugees would not be forced to leave Pakistan and would be facilitated during their stay.
He said that some 1.4 million Afghans were registered as refugees in Pakistan and for their voluntary repatriation two centres had been established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
The UNHCR chief also visited the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital in Peshawar where he commended the hospital’s charitable work.
He said that providing free treatment to underprivileged cancer patients was a noble act.
“Hospitals like this are a symbol of hope for thousands of cancer patients who have little resources,” Filippo Grandi said.
The UN refugee agency has provided high-tech machines worth Rs710 million (USD 6.2 million) for Peshawar’s Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital to support free treatment to cancer patients, including Afghan refugees.
The radiotherapy machines will be fully operational by the end of this year.
Radiotherapy uses high-energy radiation to break down cancer cells and treat tumours in the body.
UNHCR will also impart training to the technicians to operate the equipment effectively. The new cancer equipment will provide some 30,000 treatment sessions to both Pakistanis and Afghan refugees in 2019.
Speaking at the hospital, the high commissioner thanked the people and government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for hosting some 800,000 Afghan refugees in the spirit of Islamic values of hospitality and generosity.
“Investment in health systems is a demonstration of solidarity and burden-sharing by the international community with the people of Pakistan. The international community values Pakistan’s generous support to Afghan refugees despite facing internal challenges,” Filippo Grandi said.
Dr. Faisal Sultan, the chief executive officer of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre appreciated the support from UNHCR for the construction of the Emergency Assessment Unit and provision of state-of-the-art equipment.
“The hospital has established itself as a centre of excellence providing comprehensive care free-of-cost to thousands of cancer patients, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. Doors are open for all, including Afghan refugees,” he said.
UNHCR constructed the emergency assessment room and provided other medical equipment to the hospital in 2015.
“I have been associated with the Shaukat Khanum Hospital for six years, using my voice to raise awareness and lift the stigma of breast cancer so the disease can be caught early and treated.
I am deeply moved by the hospital’s mission of equal treatment for all, irrespective of their ability to pay, including refugees,” he said.

Join us on 3rd Christian Convention 2018 | Apply Now

By the Grace of our Lord God, Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan is going to conduct its 3rd Christian Convention 2018 on November 23, 24, 25 2018.
If you, your church/ministry/organization members, group, family or friends are interested to join us then do not miss this opportunity. 

Apply for the visa for Pakistan ASAP. Normal processing time for a visa is 4-6 weeks. 
For complete information, Send us an Email. We shall send you an invitation letter and the necessary documents for applying for a visa.
Total Cost of the Trip: $2800-3000 USD (Airfare, Accommodation & Food)

Join us in prayer, worship, serving, and proclamation of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

If you're unable to participate, you can join the convention by prayerfully donating for this grand annual event. Any amount would be greatly appreciated. 

Annual Christian Convention is one of the missional activities of Sutlej Reformed Church of Pakistan. It is an annual gathering or event (held each November) of regional Christians for worship, communion, preaching, teaching, fellowship, and networking. The numerous people from other denominations and religious backgrounds attend this convention every year. We also pray for the healing and deliverance of the sick, evil spirit possessed men and women.
Each day of the convention, attendants served with food. Travel cost also provided to the people from far-off areas. Each day worship service recorded with HD video cameras. We pay fares for using the vehicle to going other places.

God Bless You All!

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Young Pakistani Christian Suffers Serious Injuries in Male Acid Attack | Gujranwala

Gujranwala (Christians in Pakistan) | A young Pakistani Christian sprayed in a “male acid attack,” as he suffers life-changing injuries. Gujranwala’s Faraz Baddar was attacked by unknown men – acid attacks are most often seen as a crime against women. Details emerged that Faraz has been attacked previously, as he was tortured by the attackers.
The incident unfolded as Faraz was returning from his workplace. He was on his way home when he was intercepted by two men riding a motorcycle. As a result of this, his entire body was burnt. Faraz is currently receiving medical treatment in Mayo Hospital, Lahore. He is kept in the burns unit of the hospital where he jostles to get back to normal life.
Faraz is employed at a local hospital in Gujranwala. He worked as a manager in the hospital. Purportedly, the attack is a result of religion based dislike. Social media reports claim that the attack comes as a result of extreme emotional hatred due to his Christian faith. It is been speculated that he was disliked because his fellows did not like being working under the authority of a Christian.

Government to Take out of School Children Challenge on Top Priority

Islamabad (APP) | Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood Friday said that Out Of School Children (OOSC) was one of the major challenges for the incumbent government and it will take it on top priority.
Addressing a Literacy Walk organised by National Commission for Human Development (NCHD) in connection with the International Literacy Day-started from Shaheed-e-Millat Secretariat to D-Choke on Jinnah Avenue, the minister lamented over the high number of out of school children across country.
The Literacy Walk was also attended by the Chairperson NCHD and Former Senator Razina Aalm Khan, UNESCO Representative to Pakistan Ms. Vibeke Jensen, and a large number of teachers, students belonging to community schools working under NCHD across the country.
The students and teachers were displayed play cards, banners containing of the message of rights of the free education.
We will make every effort to educate these 2.5 million out of school children; he said and remarked that all methodologies in this regard would be utilized to achieve the target.
Emphasizing the role of education in socio-economic development of the country, Shafqat Mahmood said the government would make any endeavour to achieve maximum literacy rate.
Lauding the role of NCHD in promotion of education especially in the rural areas, the minister vowed to provide all kind of support to the institution to achieve the literacy task.
Earlier, in her address Chairperson NCHD Razina Alam Khan said the day was observed all over the world to create public awareness about the significance of literacy for individuals, family and society as a whole.
The purpose of the walk is to mobilize youth, educationists and NGOs for the cause of literacy, she added. This walk is a demonstration showing the commitment of the government for the promotion of literacy and Non-formal Education and skill development which is the main task of NCHD, she further added.
Later, Talking to state-run media, Razina Alam Khan informed that a symposium/seminar is being organized on Saturday to sensitize policy makers, intelligentsia and civil society organization about challenges of illiteracy and out of school children faced by the country, she informed.
In this symposium a thematic presentation on Literacy and skill development including documentary on rationale and benefits will be delivered to highlight importance and advantages of integrating income generation and life skill with literacy programme, she informed.
Furthermore, a panel discussion will be carried out for exchange of experiences among NGOs, GOs and INGOs to share information about good practices and successful initiatives of skill development by different service providers in the country, she said.
Unesco Representative to Pakistan Ms. Vibeke Jensen speaking on the occasion urged the students and teachers that it is the time to send the message of education to your family and community.
Unesco would provide every possible support to the institutions working for the promotion of education in Pakistan, she added.
She lauded the role of NCHD for the promotion of education through community schools system across the country.
Unesco implements the “Support to national capacity building to realize girls’ right to education in Pakistan” programme to develop and strengthen local institutional and organizational capacities, she concluded.
It is pertinent to note that the themes of the current year are as follow: Right to Education, importance of Literacy for Individual Citizens and Society, Literacy and Empowerment of Women, Dismal State of Literacy in Pakistan and Need for Action, and literacy for peace and development.

Artist Builds Eiffel Tower's 'Little Brother' in Argentina

No, this isn't Paris. This is the small town of Ituzaingo, Argentina, and this is one artist's tribute to the iconic Eiffel Tower. (New China TV)

The Indian Artist Drawing Portraits with a Typewriter

MUMBAI (AFP) | Clickety-clack, clickety-clack, ding rings out from a home in India´s Mumbai where Chandrakant Bhide is creating his latest artwork -- on a typewriter.
The 72-year-old thumps the keys of the bulky, manual machine to draw portraits of famous people, all bearing an unmistakable resemblance to their subject.
From politicians and film stars to cricketers, animation characters and religious symbols, Bhide has produced around 150 pieces of typewriter art over the past half-century.
"I have done many personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel, and Hardy. This is my hobby, my passion," he tells AFP.
Bhide has held 12 exhibitions of his work and become something of a local celebrity since discovering his unique talent in the late 1960s while employed as a bank clerk.
As a young man, he had wanted to go to art school and become a commercial artist but his family was unable to afford the costs so he trained in stenography instead.
Bhide was working in the administrative department of Union Bank of India when in 1967 his boss asked him to type up a list of staff intercom numbers.
"I typed it in the form of a telephone itself. When I saw it I thought, ´This is fantastic, I can make art through this medium.´ Everybody seemed to like it too," he recalls.
Bhide started using the "x" key to produce images of Hindu god Ganesha to mark India´s annual festival celebrating the elephant-headed deity.
He then began to experiment with other keys -- including "w", dash, asterisk, ampersand and percentage sign -- progressing to create portraits of celebrities from India and abroad.
While Bhide takes only 15 minutes to draw Ganesha, several hours are required to complete a famous face in what is a painstaking process.

No Delete Key

With steely focus, he uses his left hand to grip the knob that controls the platen -- the roller that feeds the paper through -- as he taps the keys with his right index finger.
He stops every so often to change the angle of the page before typing again.
Sometimes he´ll flick the colour-change lever from black to red or vice-versa and he´ll glance down regularly at the photograph he is working off to make sure he hasn´t made an error.
"Typing requires dedication and concentration. If you put one stroke in the wrong place then you have to start again.
"It´s not like a computer where you can delete. Many times I´ve made mistakes and had to start again," says Bhide.
The septuagenarian has drawn several Indian actors over the years including Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar as well as American cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Archie.
Cricketers feature heavily, such as Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar, whose famous curly hair Bhide recreated with hundreds of "at" symbols used in email addresses.
Bhide, who doesn´t sell his artwork or take orders, has been featured in several Indian newspapers and has been able to show his portraits to many of the Indian stars he has drawn.
He says he plans to attempt Donald Trump, Britain´s Queen Elizabeth II, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
All of his works have been produced on the same Halda typewriter he used for the 30 years that he worked at Union Bank. The bank gifted it to him for one rupee when he retired in the mid-90s.
"I have got so many things out of this typewriter. Typing is an art," he says.

Domestic Violence, An Ongoing Struggle in Pakistan

Despite the many advancements and developments in media and information technology, the Pakistani society is still bound by many chains which hinder its progression. One of these chains is the violence committed against women.
It is an acknowledged fact that many women in Pakistan are subjected to domestic violence. In our patriarchal society, men are  encouraged to show their dominance over women and are expected not to tolerate any kind of misbehavior from  women. It is also the case that many men need to exert such authority and control over their wives in order to prove that they are ‘man enough’.
Domestic violence is not only physical, but verbal and psychological too. Many a times women are  taunted and insulted by their husbands who abuse them on various occasions.  Such conditions have aggravated since the early 2000's, as women have started to work outside of their homes. 
However, in recent years, the government has substantial taken steps to eradicate  domestic violence. A helpline number was introduced some time back by the government using which women subjected to domestic violence could contact government officials and seek help and protection against their oppressors. As women started to receive education, they became more aware of their rights ultimately standing up against violence and oppression. If we go by this term, domestic violence has decreased in the recent past. 
Honour killings, another brutal form of domestic violence, are done in the name of honour as the name suggests. These are generally practiced in rural areas where if a girl  is found to have any sort of relation with a man who is not her husband, is raped or killed in order to protect the honour and dignity of the family, without any authentic evidence at times. Such girls are considered as a blot on the family name for being involved in men. 
This practice is considered as a part of many sub-cultures where people do not even realise that honour killing falls under the parameters of 'attempted murder'. 
In Pakistan, honour killing cases were not reported at all. However, as awareness grew, people came to consider it as a heinous crime and in 2009 only, 472 cases were reported. 
It is nonetheless important to create awareness about this issue, which Pakistan has taken action against. Ace filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy even produced an Oscar winning-documentary named 'A Girl in the River' which revolved around a girl who escaped getting killed in the name of honour. Such movies and documentaries receive widespread public, as well as, international support and play a major role in educating people. In February 2016, at the Prime Minister House, at the event of the screening of this film, PM Nawaz Sharif promised to eradicate all such evil practices and ensured full support and cooperation from his government.
We have succeeded in our efforts today; there is no honour in honour killing, he said. 
Government support and public awareness have brought about a decrease in the number of honour killings and in areas such as Lower Sindh and Baluchistan, there has been an increase in the number of reported cases as more people consider it a crime now as compared to in the past. The government has introduced laws against honour killings, as of 7 October 2016.
The legislation on honour killings has introduced strict punishment for the convicts making it tougher than ordinary murder cases. Under the new law, relatives of the victim would only be able to pardon the killer if he is sentenced to capital punishment. However, the culprit would still face a mandatory life sentence of twelve-and-a-half years.
Pakistan is alleged to have a lot of rape cases each year. We agree that there have been many cases of sexual harassment and rape that have surfaced in the past few years. Women are constantly being subjected to violence and this is an act that we strongly condemn. To this end, the government of Pakistan has taken a number of steps to bring down the number of rape cases and to punish the rapists strictly in accordance with the law.
As of 7 October 2016, anti-rape bills have been passed by a joint session of the Parliament. 
PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, speaking on this regard,  said, "The bill will prove to be effective in curbing rape cases across the country."
According to this bill, DNA samples will be collected and examined as soon as possible. 
Law minister Zaid Hamid stated, "The verdicts in the rape cases will have to be given within three months, with the right to appeal in six months.The police station will be obliged to inform the victims of their legal rights. We have made it mandatory that the culprit must be imprisoned for 25 years"
With the passing of this law, rape cases are expected to decrease in number as strict punishments and actions will be taken against the rapist.

Courtesy | Neha Wasim (The News International)

1.4 Billion Risk Disease from Lack of Exercise | WHO

PARIS (AFP) | More than 1.4 billion adults are putting themselves at heightened risk of deadly diseases by not getting enough exercise, doctors are warning, with global activity levels virtually unchanged in nearly two decades.
With richer nations enjoying an increasingly comfortable, sedentary lifestyle, a study by the World Health Organization said a third of women and a quarter of men worldwide are in the firing line for killer conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer unless they up their physical activity.
"Insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, and has a negative effect on mental health and quality of life," said the study of world exercise levels published Wednesday by The Lancet Global Health Journal.
The WHO recommends each adult do at least 150 minutes "moderate-intensity" exercise -- such as brisk walking, swimming or gentle cycling -- each week, or 75 minutes "vigorous-intensity" activity -- such as running or team sports.
The study tracked activity levels of 1.9 million people in 168 countries across the world during 2016.
Researchers found there had been no improvement in physical activity levels since 2001, despite numerous public health initiatives extolling the benefits of exercise.
More than a quarter of the world´s adults (1.4 billion people) were insufficiently active, according to the data.
"We definitely haven´t done enough" to encourage people to exercise, the WHO´s Regina Guthold, lead study author, told AFP.
"We have seen basically no progress."
The study authors highlighted several worrying trends, including a stark divide in exercise rates between poor and rich nations, and between men and women.

Wealth, Gender Gaps

Levels of insufficient activity to guard off non-communicable killers, including dementia and cardiovascular diseases, are more than twice as high in high-income countries compared to developing nations.
Guthold said the link between the lifestyle in wealthier nations -- more time indoors, longer office hours, more easily accessible high-calorie foods -- and lower exercise levels, was part of a "clear pattern" of poorer health coming with urbanisation.
"As countries urbanise, people who used to be, say, farmers, and got a lot of physical activity through their work all of a sudden live in an urban environment where they might be without work or move to a sedentary job, so societies need to compensate," she said.
In four countries -- Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq -- more than half of adults were classified as insufficiently active.
In Kuwait, an oil-flush gulf state where temperatures regularly top 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit), a whopping two-thirds (67 percent) of adults weren´t exercising enough.
Melody Ding of the University of Sydney, who worked on the paper, said there were a variety of reasons why some countries were more active than others, including "biological, psychosocial, institutional, cultural and environmental barriers".
"I consider one of the biggest barriers being our environment -- physical activity has been engineered out of life, with desk-based jobs replacing labour jobs, lifts replacing stairs, cars replacing active travel," she told AFP.
"Technological advancement has made our life more convenient but also less active."
Women still lag behind men in nearly every region of the world, with the gender exercise gap highest in Bangladesh, Eritrea, India, Iraq, and the Philippines, the study found.
"In these settings, women are often expected to be at home, take care of the children, manage the household and so sometimes don´t always have time to exercise," said Guthold.
One bright spot on the global exercise map was southeast Asia, where women were equally as active as men in the only region where inactivity has decreased since 2001.

24 Christian Families want State to Ensure Land Compensation

Lahore (Christians in Pakistan) | Christian families have called on the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Chief Justice of Pakistan to ensure land compensation to them. These families claim that they were promised plots as compensation to their houses; demolished in 1992.
Back in 1992, their houses were demolished without any prior
notices being issued. They said that later they were promised three marla plots as compensation, however, the plots have not been issued to them so far. In this regard, the Lahore High Court has already issued orders four times, yet these Christian families have not been compensated until now.
Details emerge that these Christian families have penned a petition addressing Premier Imran Khan and Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar. They urged the state to make sure that they are being compensated for their houses demolished.
Dr. Yaqoob Bhatti representing the 24 affected families detailed that these families were nestled in Christian Colony, Bhekeywal, Nizam Block, Wahdat Road, Lahore. “Certain elements made the LDA demolish their houses and a church without any notice in 1992. The families were manhandled for putting up resistance,” he said.
Dr. Yaqoob told the media that in this connection; members of the Christian community staged protests in front of the Chief Minister of Punjab’s Secretariat in GOR-. They also raised this issue with the then Members of the Punjab Assembly Mian Mehmoodur Rashid and Adil Sharif. He said that these MPA’s conveyed the injustice to then Chief Minister of Punjab Mian Manzoor Wattoo.
As a result, the then Chief Minister summoned the Director General of Lahore Development Authority. LDA official was reproved by the CM, therefore LDA Director General issued orders to allot three marla plots in the Khyber Block, Nadeem Shaheed Road and Allama Iqbal Town to the affected families.
It was revealed that on January 24, 1998; the affected families paid the price of the allotted plots to LDA. Despite the fact that payment has been made, yet the affected families have not been granted procession of the allotted plots. These Christian families moved Lahore High Court four times, thus the court directed LDA to hand over the allotted plots to the petitioners. Notwithstanding, LDA has not granted procession of the allotted plots to the affected Christian families.
Dr. Yaqoob claims that the affected families possess documents regarding the allotment including receipts of the payment they deposited, orders issued by then CM Mian Wattoo and the four ruling of the Lahore High Court. The affected families now urge the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice to take efficacious steps in order to compensate them. “The Constitution grants us equal rights which are being denied to us,” Dr. Yaqoob said.