by A. Scott Moreau and Mike O’Rear
One of the distinctive strengths of the Internet is its ability to provide immediate access to current news around the world. This issue of Missions on the Web highlights a variety of websites providing missions-related news, as well as broader international news of evangelical church and ministry events of interest to missionaries.
One of the distinctive strengths of the Internet is its ability to provide immediate access to current news around the world. This issue of Missions on the Web highlights a variety of websites providing missions-related news, as well as broader international news of evangelical church and ministry events of interest to missionaries. You can find a corresponding page of links to missions-related news sites at our website (www.mislinks.org/practical/news.htm).1
In preparing this article and page of links, we set some fairly artificial boundaries. Most websites do not adhere to a well-articulated definition of “missions.” Beyond those that refer to themselves explicitly as missions news sites, we have included sites focused on persecution of Christians and religious freedom, as well as broader sites covering international Christian news from an evangelical perspective.
In attempting to point to current missions news, we have omitted sites primarily focused on commentary and the many excellent missions journal sites (see www.mislinks.org/research/periodicals.html for an extensive set of links to these publications). We have also omitted websites focusing solely on a particular country, mission agency, denomination or type of ministry. Likewise, we have avoided sites that, while positioning themselves as international Christian news sites, mostly focus on American cultural, social or political issues and sites that look at international news primarily as a means of discussing a specific prophetic framework. Many of the news sites described below offer a free RSS2 news feed, which can be placed on your website as a service to your visitors. RSS allows summaries of new or updated material from various source sites to stream on your own site.
International Missions News
You will find a variety of excellent websites focused exclusively on providing news about world evangelization and missions; below are ones that come from an evangelical perspective.
Mission Network News (MNN), a radio broadcast ministry of Cornerstone University, is a “mission news service dedicated to keeping Christians informed on evangelical mission activity around the world.” Their website (www.mnnonline.org) gives current evangelical missions news headlines on a daily basis, along with interviews and special reports. You can read the news online or listen to the audio broadcast in either MP3 or RealMedia format. The news reports come in 4.5-minute, 2-minute and 1-minute versions. You can receive MNN content in a variety of ways, including as a daily email sent to your computer (www.mnnonline.org/email). Their Podcast feature (www.mnnonline.org/podcast) allows you to automatically download the daily audio, so you can listen to it on your computer or have it automatically placed on your MP3 player. In addition, they offer a compact version of MNN Online for your web-enabled cell phone, PDA or Blackberry that includes news, agency information and station listings (mobile.mnnonline.org).
Lausanne World Pulse (www.lausanneworldpulse.com) is a free monthly report on world evangelism and missions news and commentary. On the website you can read individual articles or download a PDF of the entire issue (approximately forty pages). Click on the “World News Briefs” link in the left-hand column (or go to www.lausanneworldpulse.com/newsbriefs) to read recent missions news. You can sign up to receive a free email notice whenever new content is available. In addition, you can subscribe to the monthly email newsletter Lausanne Connecting Point (www.lausanne.org/Brix?pageID=12902) for “news about Lausanne as well as stories, reports and information on evangelism trends and links to evangelism-related websites.”
Similarly, World Evangelical Alliance’s archive of news releases and related materials is available online (www.worldevangelicalalliance.com/news). Brigada Today (www.brigada.org) is a weekly newsletter covering international missions events, resources and ideas. It is available as a free email subscription.
Initiative360 (formerly ACMC and Caleb Project) publishes the free weekly Missions Catalyst e-Magazine (www.missionscatalyst.org). In addition to a digest of news briefs with links to complete articles, Missions Catalyst includes articles with practical ideas, resource reviews and networking help. You can sign up to receive the emails of news briefs, feature articles or both. All mailings are also posted on the website.
Christian Post, an independent, interdenominational Christian media company, has a page dedicated to missions news (www.christianpost.com/section/missions/). Likewise, the London, UK-based ministry Christian Today, an “independent and ecumenical Christian news source covering all Christian news,” has a page of missions-related news headlines linked to full articles (www.christiantoday.com/missions).
Persecution and Religious Freedom News
Compass Direct (www.compassdirect.org) is “a Christian news service dedicated to providing exclusive news, penetrating reports, moving interviews and insightful analyses of situations and events facing Christians persecuted for their faith.” It maintains “an extensive network of news bureaus and correspondents around the world.” You can view current breaking news and recent news summaries, as well as search the archives by country and keyword. Email subscriptions are available starting at $25 per year.
The Oslo-based Forum 18 is a Christian-based initiative governed by “a board whose members are Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic Christians.” It takes its name from Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and “concentrates upon gross and open breaches of religious freedom.” Its website (www.forum18.org) has a page of latest news headlines. Their daily reports and weekly summaries are available via email subscription, and you can search their archives via keyword, religion and country. They also provide more in-depth surveys that analyze religious freedom in individual countries.
Based in Mississauga, Ontario, The Voice of the Martyrs website (www.persecution.net) provides a Persecution & Prayer Alert with recent stories from around the world. You can sign up to receive this weekly news bulletin via email. The Voice of the Martyrs is an associate member of the World Evangelical Alliance. The Christian Monitor (www.christianmonitor.org) “monitors Christian persecution around the world on a daily basis.” Read recent news stories and search the archives by country, word or phrase and time (past week, past two weeks, past month).
BosNewsLife (www.bosnewslife.com) is a Budapest-based “Internet news agency covering stories on Christians and Jews living in difficult circumstances for whatever reason.” On their website you can read news stories as well as listen to audio newscasts. Annual subscription rates are $29.95 for a “read-only” subscription and $119.95 for the ability to copy, print, save and republish articles.
Persecution.org (www.persecution.org/suffering) is a ministry of the Washington DC-based International Christian Concern, an interdenominational human rights organization “dedicated to assisting and sustaining Christians who are victims of persecution and discrimination due to practicing their faith.” Their home page has an annotated list of related headlines with links to the full articles. Click on the “All News” link in the left-hand column to see an extensive list of headlines which can be searched by date, country and word or phrase.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide, an outgrowth of Christian Solidarity International, is “a human rights organization specializing in religious freedom. CSW works on behalf of those persecuted for their Christian beliefs and promotes religious liberty for all.” Their website includes a page of related news headlines (www.csw.org.uk/latestnews).
The Worthy News website (www.worthynews.com/christian-news.php) includes a page of news about Christians around the world, most of which are linked to recent stories from other news services mentioned above. You can also search their online archives.
International Evangelical Christian News
There are many international Christian news sites which cover international news about Christians and/or international news from a Christian perspective. ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net) provides a great set of breaking news headlines of interest to Christians around the world. The headlines are linked to full-length news articles; there are also press releases from mission agencies. You can also sign up for the news service’s free email subscription (financial contributions are appreciated) and listen to their weekly five-minute radio program of stories about the persecuted Church around the world.
Christian Today has a world section (www.christiantoday.com/world) offering an extensive collection of recent world news and editorials of interest to evangelicals, as well as to the broader ecumenical Christian audience. You can focus your news reading by region; for instance, go to the Africa page to read news from that continent.
Likewise, Christian Post carries a limited set of international news headlines on its website (www.christianpost.com/section/intl/).
OSCAR (www.oscar.org.uk/newsevents/news.htm), the UK Information Service for World Mission, has a page of annotated links to other news sites of interest to missionaries.
The Christian Broadcasting Network hosts CBNNews.com, which has a page of links to world news headlines (www.cbn.com/CBNnews/world). It carries world news stories, mostly from Associated Press and CBNNews writers. See also CBN’s Christian World News site (www.cbn.com/cbnnews/cwn).
The Netherlands-based Joel Ministries maintains the Joel News website (www.joelnews.org/frontpage.htm). In partnership with church planting and prayer ministries, it “publishes news stories and inspiring articles on prayer, revival and church growth” from around the world. You can sign up for the weekly email subscription, with a suggested annual donation of $35.
Christian Headlines (www.christianheadlines.com) is updated daily and links to religious news from other international Christian and secular sources.
Similarly, Annie’s Sources for Church & Missions News (www.annieshomepage.com/churchmissions.html) has links to a wide variety of national and international Christian-oriented news sites.
Denominational News Services and Newspapers (www.toad.net/%7Eandrews/jreldenom.html) offers an extensive site of annotated links to official Christian and Jewish news sites (last updated in January 2004).
Denominational News Services (www.my-local-news.com/
Christian/Denominational-News-Services.htm) offers a more limited page of links to denominational news sites.
Numerous websites provide news on specific Christian denominations, traditions and associations (Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, Orthodox, World Council of Churches, etc.), but we do not have space to cover this broader topic here.
Internet Search Engines and Directories
Crosswalk has a directory of over one hundred Christian news sites (directory.crosswalk.com/directory/News_and_Publications/News). Many of these sites are focused on current social/political/theological issues of interest to conservative Christians in the US rather than on international news.
Open Directory Project’s Christian News & Media page
Both Google (www.google.com/Top/Society/Religion_
and_Spirituality/Christianity/News_and_Media) and Yahoo (dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Religion_and_Spirituality/Faiths
_and_Practices/Christianity/News_and_Media) have entries in their respective directories for Christian news and media, but frankly there does not seem to be much real news of interest to international missionaries in either directory.
If you go to Google (www.google.com) and search for “missions news” (in quotes) you will get about fifty-five thousand hits, many of which deal with military or space missions. To filter these sites out enter a negative sign (“-”) before unwanted words; for instance, enter the following into the Google search window: “missions news” -moon -mars -space -nasa -military -combat. Alternatively, go to the Google News site (news.google.com/news) and search for words or phrases of interest, such as Christian, evangelical, missions, evangelical mission, Baptist, Mormon, Islam, etc.
Google’s Blog Search (blogsearch.google.com) is a fairly new feature offered by the popular search engine. The Advanced Blog Search screen allows you to specify the normal word or phrase options, along with the time frame (“last hour,” “last twelve hours,” “past week,” “past month,” etc.), author and language. Searching for “Christian mission” (with quotes) in the “past week” yielded sixty hits. Searching for Christian mission (without quotes) yielded 4,500 hits in the past week and 350 hits within the last day.
Also, try Yahoo News (fullcoverage.yahoo.com/fc), entering similar search words as suggested above. Yahoo’s Religion News page (news.yahoo.com/i/2727) and Religion News in Brief (news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061207/ap_on_re/religion_briefs_1) offer additional sets of valuable links, although US issues dominate the site.
Finally, don’t overlook the secular news media. Major news networks, daily newspapers and news magazines provide online search engines, in which you can enter “religion,” “evangelical” or any other word or phrase of interest.
As always, we welcome your additions to this set of missions-related news links; simply use the “Contact Us” link on the MisLinks page (www.mislinks.org/practical/news.htm).
1. All websites begin with http:// unless noted otherwise.
2. RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” These news feeds are essentially web pages designed to be read by computers rather than people, and they require the use of a news reader. To learn more, read about RSS on Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSS_%28file_format%29).
A. Scott Moreau is editor of EMQ and chair of Intercultural Studies at Wheaton College Graduate School (Wheaton, Ill.).
His email address is A.S.Moreau@wheaton.edu, and the Wheaton Missions Department web address is www.wheaton.edu/intr.
Mike O’Rear is the president of Global Mapping International (Colorado Springs, Colo.), which is dedicated to providing access to information for church and mission leaders, especially in the Two-thirds World. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, and the GMI web address is www.gmi.org.
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