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TobyMac collaborates with Sheryl Crow on ‘Promised Land’

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TobyMac has debuted a special collaboration with musician Sheryl Crow. 

The seven-time Grammy winner partnered with Crow to record two new versions of his hit single “Promised Land”. 

Discussing the meaning behind the song, TobyMac said, “I think if we’re honest, each of us have wondered, where is the promised land?

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“Where’s the blessing for me and my family that I thought would come my way on this earth when I chose to follow the King of Kings?”

Ultimately, he said of the song, “The lyics land where I want my life to land: that the promised land is no land at all, but a relationship with the King that loves us deeply.

“It turns from where’s my promised land, to you’re my promised land.

“Maybe the promised land we’re looking for is no place at all, but a person named Jesus.”

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Crow has enjoyed a decades-long music career spanning the rock, pop and country genres. 

Among her biggest hits are “All I Wanna Do” and “Soak Up the Sun”. She also co-wrote the title track for the 1999 James Bond movie, “The World is Not Enough”. 

Her 50-acre estate near Nashville is reported to have an old converted chapel in its grounds. 

TobyMac is about to head out on the road for the spring leg of his Hits Deep tour, starting in Jonesboro, Arkansas, on February 9.

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Islamic State Coordinated Onslaught in Syria Continues

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01/28/2022 Syria (International Christian Concern) – After a premature announcement that fighting had ended, clashes between the Islamic State and the Syrian Democratic Forces resumed on January 27. The attack on al-Sinaa prison began on the evening of January 20, led by Islamic State militants both inside and outside the prison, and has left an unclear number dead, injured, and unaccounted for. The ongoing conflict is the largest attack in Syria by the Islamic State since their territorial defeat in March 2019 at the Battle of Baghouz.

On the evening of January 20, Islamic State militants set off car bombs while prisoners inside started a riot and attacked prison personnel in a coordinated attack between the captives and outside sleeper cells. The attack was reportedly the efforts of a previously-thwarted plan in November 2021. In the past few months, Islamic State cells have been notably quiet, leading analysts to presume correctly about an impending larger-scale attack, as the group saved ammunition and weapons.

The prison held between 3,000 and 5,000 prisoners, including a number of IS militants who surrendered at the last battle. Inmates at Sinaa prison included several hundred minors, some as young as 12 and some of whom have never been officially charged with or committed any crimes, outside of having guardians affiliated with the Islamic State. After six days of fighting, the SDF announced that the battle was over after the prisoners surrendered. However, a group of 60 to 90 IS militants inside the prison were found on Thursday who were holding out. The SDF announced that 3,500 prisoners had been rearrested and estimated that around 200 people were killed, leaving an unclear number escaped or unaccounted for.

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Sinaa prison is located nearby Ghweiran District, an area with some IS sympathizers and other Syrian civilians. Some fled to escape the clashes while others hunkered down with whatever supplies they had on hand, as their city was ravaged yet again by war. Seemingly coordinated attacks across Northeast Syria also destabilized the recovering Syrian people, including attacks by other Islamic State militants and Turkish-backed factions.

The large-scale resurgence of the Islamic State, not even three years since their declared defeat in Syria, leaves Christians and minorities concerned about their safety and protection from the terrorist group.

For interviews, please contact [email protected].

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More Islamic Studies Concern Malaysian Parents

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01/28/2022 Malaysia (International Christian Concern) – A Malaysian father’s recent tweet went viral after he questioned the hours of Islamic studies in his daughter’s weekly schedule.

The father was shocked when he found out that his daughter’s primary school had allocated more hours for Islamic studies and other related classes than for mathematics and science classes combined.

According to his tweet, there are 5.5 hours of Pendidikan Agama Islam (PAI) and other related classes in a week, whereas English has the same amount, and math and science combined — at 2.5 hours and 1.5 hours respectively — are still less.

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He noted that his daughter’s school is not a religious school but a public school. While he is not opposed to religious studies, he does not want them to be taught at the expense of mathematics and science.

Many non-Muslim netizens agree with his view that school should not be a place to teach religion and instead should teach the subject outside official school hours.

In response, Minister of Religious Affairs Idris Ahmad said at a recent event that he found the complaint “strange” as the matter had never appeared. “However, it is normal in our large community (for some people to complain). Perhaps, it is because they don’t understand or do not want to understand,” he said.

Although Malaysia is a secular country and hosts several ethnicities, its official religion is Islam, and ethnic Malay are presumed to be Muslims. Analysts are noticing the creeping Islamization of the Southeast Asian country in recent years and how that could threaten religious liberty in Malaysia.

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For interviews, please contact: [email protected].

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