Did You Know?

Three men and zero women have been

executed in the United States in 2019.

134 Killed Mali
At least 134 individuals have been killed, and 55 others injured, in an ethnic Peuhl village in Ogossogou, Mali. Among those killed were small children, pregnant women, and the elderly. An ethnic Dogon militia, who are Islamic extremists, is believed to be responsible for the attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Pleas pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.
417 Killed in Mozambique
At least 417 individuals have been killed in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai. Approximately 300 others have been killed in Zimbabwe and Malawi as a result of the cyclone. There is also severe flooding, which has contributed to the many deaths, and risk of further flooding. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for the safety of all in the regions. Please pray for all affected.
Flooding in Australia
Northern Australia has been struck by Cyclone Trevor, with another storm, Cyclone Veronica on its way. Cyclone Trevor has already caused significant damage with strong winds and rains. There have been nor reports of injuries or deaths. While Cyclone Veronica is not expected to make landfall, flooding is still a major concern. Please pray for all who have been, and could be, affected. Please pray for safety.
1 Injured in Nice, France
At least one elderly woman has been injured during a banned “Yellow Vest” protest in Nice, France. The 73-year-old woman was struck over the head with a metal post in an incident captured on video. She sustained a skull fracture and bleeding next to the brain. She is currently in the intensive care unit. During the protest, soldiers were deployed to help police maintain security. Please pray for healing. Please pray for any others that may have been affected. Please pray for peace.
Last Islamic State Stronghold Falls
The terrorist group known as the Islamic State no longer holds any territory, and thousands of its fighters have been captured in recent months. However, many fighters continue to carry out operations in secret. Please pray for peace. Please pray for all that have been affected since the Islamic State came to power.
3 Killed in Nebraska
At least three individuals have been killed as a result of severe flooding in Nebraska. Thousands have been forced from their homes in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri due to flooding. Further flooding is feared as temperatures increase and snow begins to melt. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for all those affected.
Protests in Morocco
Thousands of teachers are protesting in Morocco over working conditions. Among their demands are permanent contracts, better working conditions, and the rising cost of living. An overnight sit-in was broken up by police in riot gear with water cannons. Please pray for peace.
Protests in Algeria
Protests have been ongoing against current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika. President Bouteflika was planning on running for a 5th term in office, despite his declining health, however, he has announced that he will not seek another term. He has been in office since 1999. Protests initially began against his seeking a 5th term, but now protesters are demanding that he step down immediately, arguing that his health is allowing others to rule through him. Please pray for a peaceful resolution.
49 Killed in Mosque Shootings
At least 49 individuals have been killed, and 20 others injured, in two shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Police also discovered explosive devices nearby. Officials has designated this incident as a terrorist attack. Please pray for the families of the deceased. Please pray for healing for the injured. Please pray for peace.

Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018  11:00 am EDT

 

Robert J. Van Hook has been executed in Ohio.  Read more about his case here.

 

Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018  8:41 am EDT

 

Ohio Governor John Kasich has rejected a request for clemency from Robert J. Van Hook.  Robert has no appeals remaining.

 

Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018  11:28 am EDT

 

Robert J. Van Hook is scheduled to be executed at 10 am EDT, on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio.  Fifty-eight-year-old Robert is convicted of the murder of 25-year-old David Self on February 18, 1985, in David’s Cincinnati apartment.  Robert has spent the last 32 years on Ohio’s death row.

 

Robert’s parents were both heavy drinkers and Robert began drinking as a toddler.  His father started taking him to bars at the age of 9.  Robert began using drugs, provided by his father, at the age of 11, and continued using drugs and alcohol into adulthood.  Robert’s father was violently abusive to his mother, and at least once towards him.  Robert was kicked out of the military for his drug and alcohol abuse, to his great distress.  Robert had also attempted suicide numerous times.

 

On February 18, 1985, Robert Van Hook went to a gay bar in an attempt to find someone whom he could rob.  Van Hook approached David Self.  The two men talked and drank fro several hours before leaving the bar and going to David’s apartment.  Van Hook maneuvered David into a “vulnerable position,” and strangled David until he was unconscious.  Using a kitchen knife, Van Hook killed and mutilated David and then fled the apartment, taking several of David’s valuables with him.  

 

Van Hook fled to Florida, where he was arrested by police six weeks later.  Van Hook confessed to the crime.  He was convicted and sentenced to death in August 1985.

 

The Ohio Parole Board recommended, by a vote of 8-1, that Ohio Governor John Kasich deny clemency for Van Hook.  Van Hook's lawyers argued before the board that clemency should be granted due to emotion and physical abuse suffered during Van Hook's childhood - alleging that these issues were not fully explored by his trial attorneys.  They also claim that Van Hook is remorseful for his crimes.  Prosecutors rejected this claim, noting that Van Hook stabbed a fellow inmate in prison last year.  On Friday, June 29, 2018, Governor Kasich announced that he would follow the recommendation of parole board and not grant clemency.  The Ohio Supreme Court has also announced, without comment, that they will not halt the execution.

 

This is not Van Hook’s first execution date.  After the controversial January 2014 execution of Dennis McGuire, executions were halted in Ohio due to ongoing legal challenges to the execution protocol.  Read more information here.  As Ohio schedules its executions several years in advance, numerous execution dates were rescheduled, and sometimes multiples times for the same person.  Executions resumed in Ohio on October 19, 2016, with the execution or Ronald Phillips.

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the family of David Self.  Please pray for strength for the family of Robert.  Please pray that if Robert is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution.  Please pray that Robert may come to find a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already found one.

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