Zprávy HCJB 22.9.2002 - 28.9.2002

   Německý prezident Johannes Rau a další političtí, sportovní a církevní představitelé přivítali nový křesťanský digitální vysílací kanál, který má od 1. října vysílat 24 hodin denně. Programová skladba zahrnuje čtení z Bible, dokumentaristiku, filmy a kreslené seriály, soutěže ve znalosti biblických témat, hudební klipy a rozhovory. Příjem je bez poplatků a zajišťuje jej satelit Astra 2C, který pokrývá velkou část Evropy. Asi 1.8 milionu německých domácností má satelitní přijímač digitálního vysílání. Výkonný ředitel Henning Roehl očekává zpočátku asi 100.000 posluchačů, je si ale také jist, že jich bude „rychle přibývat“. Publicista Norman Rentrop – většinový provozovatel stanice – řekl, že zatímco televize je skoro v každém hotelovém pokoji, najít ve v programové skladbě zavedených stanic křesťanské programy je „nesmírně obtížné“.

*Nejnovější zprávy v originální anglické verzi jsou vždy ZDE (klikněte).

   Zatímco zprávy o tom, že útoky z 11. září neměly trvalý vliv na duchovní život většiny Američanů, posloužily teroristické útoky k otevření dveří evangeliu v mnoha zemích muslimského světa, říká prezident International Mission Board Jerry Rankin. Ve svém projevu ke členům výkonného výboru na jejich zasedání 17. září Rankin řekl, že následky 11. září „nás nutí si uvědomit, že skrze zprávy, které přeletěly přes Severní Afriku a Střední východ, Bůh otřásl a pohnul srdcem muslimského světa a začaly se bortit bariéry. Otevřeně se mohlo hovořit s lidmi, kteří hledali naději a bezpečí, které nenašly ve své islámské víře. Já vám dnes mohu oznámit, že máme 1200 pracovníků ve více než 300 skupinách muslimů v 75 převážně muslimských zemích světa.“ Rankin řekl, že se evangelium dostává přes „pevnost islámského odporu“ jako nikdy předtím. „Toto je čas nebývalé žně a možností ve světě,“ řekl a dodal, že 34000 jižních baptistů se zúčastnilo v loňském roce dobrovolných misijních projektů pro zámoří, i přesto, že většina dobrovolných programů byla zastavena hned po 11. září. (Religion Today)

There is growing concern about the safety of 200 students and staff, most of them American, who are trapped at a missionary compound in Bouake, the second largest city of Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the county's second largest city with a population of 500,000. The compound is home to the International Christian Academy (ICA), a missionary boarding school with seven nearby dormitories. David Haag of Evangelical Baptist Mission, one of the partners that operates the school, says everyone in the compound is safe despite "sensationalized" news reports from sources such as CNN. "Rebel soldiers have been seen in various places right around the campus, patrolling the perimeter outside the walls," Haag said. "But the people in the compound have not been the target of any hostilities. Rebel troops are patrolling the perimeter outside the walls." Haag said there is plenty of food and water within the compound. "The power has been cut off, but they have a generator which they're been running for short periods as needed. Safety is definitely a prayer request regardless of how the military perceives their level of safety at the academy. When you can hear automatic weapons being shot off outside your window, it's no small thing." ICA Director Dan Grudda wrote in an e-mail report that the situation is under control. "We can lock down this campus in one minute and account for every person here," he said.

The national soccer teams from Senegal, Sierra Leone and Gambia are also trapped in Bouake. The hotel they are holed up in has little water and food left. Ivorian officials say 270 people have been killed and 300 wounded in insurgency so far. The rebels in Bouake and in the northern city of Korhogo appear to have ignored government demands for them to surrender in return for an offer of talks. Abidjan is now quiet, but in Bouake rebel soldiers said on Sunday that they had beaten off a heavy attack by loyalist troops. Meanwhile, French troops have reached the capital city of Yamoussoukro as they are seeking to protect French and other foreign nationals caught up in a coup attempt that began on Thursday. The convoy of dozens of vehicles left the country's commercial capital of Abidjan late Sunday, hours after France had flown up to 200 reinforcements drawn from its other bases in West Africa. France describes the move as a "precautionary measure," and it is thought the troops will set up a forward base to be able to stage evacuations, if necessary, from nearby Bouake which this morning still remained in rebel hands. Some 20,000 French nationals are thought to live in the former French colony. France has agreements with the country to help restore order if necessary.

Following a national address by President Laurent Gbagbo, hinting that the rebels had been aided by a foreign power, hundreds of foreigners' homes in the Abidjan were burned down and thousands of people packed up and took to the road in search of safety. Defense Minister Moise Lida Kouassi told the BBC that the army's only aim was to regain control of territory from rebels. Prime Minister Pascal Affi Nguessan offered an olive branch to rebels in a televised address on Saturday evening. Thursday's uprising began with coordinated attacks on military installations, government sites and cabinet ministers' houses in Abidjan and other cities and towns. The man the government has blamed for the uprising, Gen. Robert Guei (who seized power in a 1999 coup), was killed. Foreign news stations, including the BBC, have been taken off the air in the country. (HCJB World Radio/BBC/MNN)

* HCJB World Radio's regional office for Sub-Saharan Africa is in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where Director Lee Sonius and his family are preparing to return after completing their home ministry assignment in North America.Fréquence Vie (Frequency Life), a partner FM station in Abidjan operated by partner SIM and local churches, went on the air in 1999. The station broadcasts 17 hours daily in French and some local languages. An FM station is also being built in Korhogo. HCJB World Radio missionaries Larry and Linda Burk are at a Conservative Baptist compound several miles outside of Korhogo, awaiting the arrival of a work team from Kensington Community Church in Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 29. It is unclear if these plans have been changed or what impact the fighting has had on the radio ministries Côte d'Ivoire.


The Protestant Church of Jesus Christ in the Uzbek town of Gazalkent, 40 miles north of the capital city of Tashkent, is typical of small religious communities which do not have the required 100 adult citizen members required for registration. As a result, any meetings of church members are considered illegal. Pastor Maksim Yakovlev said his church, which only has about 15 members, almost never meets because of fear of persecution by authorities. Since the church is illegal, it is subject to surveillance by the police and the National Security Service. Such strict controls have forced many small churches to adapt their practices, splitting up into "cells" of no more than five people that meet secretly in homes. "When such a small group meets in an apartment, then it can be presented not as a religious gathering but as an ordinary tea-drinking session -- and we really do drink tea," Yakovlev said. However, even when they meet in private homes, their safety is not assured. "In the end, there is a very subtle line between a religious meeting and a tea-drinking session, and we are always at risk of being accused of not just drinking tea," he noted. "What is more, a denunciation by any of the neighbors would be quite enough to finish off our meetings." Asked how such small religious communities in Uzbekistan can function if they are treated as illegal, Begzot Kadyrov, an official in the government's Committee for Religious Affairs responsible for non-Muslim faiths, was unsympathetic. "They should join a registered community nearby and go there to pray," he said. (Keston News Service)


Three Peruvian Christian men and women, unjustly imprisoned and separated from their families for almost a decade, appear to be only one step away from release. Wilbert Apaza Vargas, Darwin Aquino Ortiz and Olga Gonzalez Zevallos (among others) have been recommended for release by the Peruvian government's Pardoning Commission but need President Alejandro Toledo's signature for the process to go forward. Toledo has not signed any pardons for those deemed innocent since April, apparently due to political pressure. Under former president Alberto Fujimori during the 1990s, hundreds of innocent Peruvians were rounded up and convicted by "faceless judges" whose identity was hidden. The accused were unable to cross-examine witnesses, challenge government evidence or call witnesses in their defense. Hundreds were convicted on flimsy evidence and remain in prison, often in appalling conditions with little hope of justice. (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)


As the German "Bible TV" is about to be launched, President Johannes Rau and other political, sports and church leaders have welcomed this new Christian 24-hour digital channel. Programs start Oct. 1 and will include Bible readings, documentaries, movies, cartoons, music clips, a Bible quiz and talk shows. Bible TV is broadcast free of charge via the satellite Astra 2C which covers large parts of Europe. About 1.8 million German households have a digital receiver. Executive Director Henning Roehl expects an initial audience of 100,000, but he is sure this number will "rapidly expand." Publisher Norman Rentrop, a majority shareholder, said that while he can find a Bible in almost every hotel room, it is "extremely hard to find Christian programs on television." (IDEA)


While reports say that 9/11 had little lasting impact on the spiritual lives of most Americans, the terrorist attacks have served to open doors for the gospel in many nations throughout the Muslim world, reports International Mission Board President Jerry Rankin. Speaking to the members of the executive committee at their Sept. 17 meeting, Rankin said, the aftermath of 9/11 "made us realize through reports that were sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East that God was moving and shaking the hearts in the Muslim world, that those barriers were beginning to crumble. There was an openness to people looking for that which would give them hope and security that they had not found in their Islamic faith, and I report to you today that we now have more than 1,200 personnel assigned to more than 300 Muslim people groups in 75 predominantly Muslim countries around the world." Rankin said the gospel is crossing the "stronghold of Islamic resistance" like never before. "This is a time of unprecedented harvest and opportunity around the world," he said, noting that 34,000 Southern Baptists participated in volunteer missions projects overseas last year even though most of the volunteer program was closed down immediately after 9/11. (Religion Today)


Amidst word of sectarian violence throughout Nigeria and an attempt to impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo (who is a Christian), evangelist Sammy Tippit is encouraging church leaders. Tippit recently held a conference at Obasanjo's invitation n spite of the difficulties. Tippit believes the unrest was a timely setting for the conference. "Because of the situation there, it caused the believers, these leaders, to have a spirit of prayer, to seek God on behalf of their nation and there was a great time of calling out to the Lord and seeking the Lord to intervene within the country." Tippit says church leaders face great challenges in the days ahead. "We need to pray that God would strengthen them as they go back to their communities. But I think, most of all, if you were to ask them that question, they would say to you please pray that they would be able to do what God has laid on their hearts to do, that they will be able to reach their communities, their nation, and the surrounding nations with the gospel." (Mission Network News)

FREE BOOKLET: Order your own copy of HCJB World Radio's new 20-page booklet, "God Keeps Opening Doors," by e-mailing your name and mailing address to doors@hcjb.org . You'll also receive a free bookmark.

   USA vyslaly jednotky do Bouake, druhého největšího města Pobřeží slonoviny, aby chránily 200 studentů a personál - většinou Američany – kteří zůstali jako v pasti v budově Mezinárodní křesťanské akademie, která se ocitla v centru přestřelky v boji mezi rebely a vládními vojáky. „Na žádost amerického velvyslance v Pobřeží slonoviny přesunuje Evropské velení USA své síly, aby byla zajištěna ochrana pro americké občany,“ řekl ve Washingtonu mluvčí Pentagonu korvetní kapitán Don Sewell. Ten odmítl blíže specifikovat plánované operace v případě nezbytné evakuace. Řekl pouze, že vojsko je připraveno „na všechny možnosti.“ Téměř 200 oddílů je na cestě do západoafrické země a je připraveno v případě potřeby pomoci při přestěhování dětí do bezpečí. Ti byly bez spojení od doby, kdy rebelové obsadili Bouake během čtvrtečního nepodařeného pokusu o převrat. Děti ve škole a dalších 500 000 obyvatel města prožilo asi hodinu hrůzy během večerní přestřelky, ke které došlo v pondělí. Ředitel ICA Daniel Grudda řekl, že nejtěžší přestřelky začaly okolo 18:30, kdy studenti odcházeli z jídelny. „Vypadalo to, jakoby střely mířily přes pozemek tábora a ne dolů k zemi, ale bylo jasné, že se střílelo ze zbraní, které byly vzadu ve vozidlech, vzhledem k tomu, že kulky lítaly rovně přes pozemek nad zdí,“ sdělil Grudda v e-mailové zprávě. „Také se méně střílelo z ručních zbraní do vzduchu. Každý se okamžitě běžel schovat, jak jsme to během těchto dnů několikrát nacvičovali. Uvnitř v budově lidé seděli na zemi zády ke zdi a pokoušeli se hledat své rodinné příslušníky a přátele během pokračující střelby. Děti se potom vrátily do svých pokojů a byly přepočítány. Nikdo nebyl zraněn.“ K bojům dochází také v Korhogu na severu země, kde HCJB World Radio spolupracuje s místními partnery na vybudování křesťanské rozhlasové stanice. Misionáři Larry a Linda Burkovi jsou v objektu konzervativních baptistů asi pět mil od Korhoga. „Tady je všude ticho a klid, až na několik aut rebelů, která zahlédneme na cestě,“ píší Burkovi v e-mailu z pondělního odpoledne. „Čekáme, že do večera nás tu bude 29! Kromě devíti mírových pracovníků, kteří přišli z města, se k nám přidává ještě deset dalších pracovníků z vesnic v okolí.Vlastenci ještě přivedli dva lidi z hotelu ve městě, jednoho pracovníka z americké pomoci a italského obchodníka. Život ve městě není jednoduchý kvůli výpadkům elektřiny a vody, jsou zavřené obchody a je nedostatek potravin a benzínu, nehledě na neustálé nebezpečí střelby a hrozbu zbloudilých kulek.Jsme jako v obležení. Nicméně to vypadá, že nedochází k rabování a rebelové se chovají zdrženlivě.“ Byly zrušeny plánované práce týmu ze sboru Kensington Community z Michiganu, který měl přiletět v sobotu 29.9., aby pomohl při budování stanice v Korhogu. Leo Sonius, ředitel oddělení pro saharskou Afriku HCJB World Radio, řekl dnes v telefonickém rozhovoru ze Severní Karoliny, že on a jeho rodina odložila návrat do Abidjanu na Pobřeží slonoviny kvůli bojům nejméně do soboty. Slyšeli jsme, že v Abidjanu je klid. Někteří lidé se vrátili zpět k práci, ale hodně jich zůstává doma.“ Pokud je nám známo, rozhlasová stanice Fréquence Vie v Abidjanu, kterou provozuje partner SIM a místní sbory, stále vysílá. Sonius řekl, že zprávy o bojích přinášejí zpět zlé vzpomínky na občanskou válku v sousední Liberii, kde on a jeho rodina byli v devadesátých letech dvakrát donuceni k evakuaci. „Svým způsobem jsme na to zvyklí,“ řekl. „Jeden den může všechno vypadat zle, ale potom během 24 nebo 48 hodin může být všechno zase v normálu.“ Tak jak mizely boje ve střední a severní části původní francouzské kolonie, začala se projevovat rozpadající se politická atmosféra na Pobřeží slonoviny. Alassane Dramane Ouattara, vysoký opoziční vůdce, obvinil vládní síly, že se ho pokusily minulý týden zabít během pokusu o převrat, kterým začalo vůbec nejkrvavější povstání v dějinách země. Ti, co podporují Outtaru, patří převážně k muslimským seveřanům, a často se dostávali do konfliktu s většinou jižními křesťanskými přívrženci prezidenta Laurenta Gbagboa. Francie vyslala zvláštní jednotky a vrtulníky do země, aby znovu posílila svou stálou přítomnost 600 lidí v zemi, která by měla být oázou stability v oblasti zkoušené několika velmi krutými válkami v Africe. (AP,HCJB World Radio/ICA)
   (Ecumenical News International) - Přes 700 lidí, kteří se skryli v džungli po masakru postihnuvším jejich zdravotnické zařízení v severovýchodním cípu Konga, dosáhlo bezpečí. Oznamují to misijní zdroje z Londýna. Skupina lékařů, zdravotních sester a pacientů z Nyankunde podnikla dramatický pochod na trase dlouhé 150 km savanou a hustým lesem až do města Oicha, aniž by cestou ztratila jediného účastníka. Ve skupině je i 75letý kanadská misionářka Marianne Baisely, která údajně odmítla předchozí leteckou evakuaci evakuaci 13.září, poté, co zdravotnická zařízení byla zničena probíhajícími kmenovými boji. Ti, co přežili uvádějí, že během osmidenního zápolení bylo zabito přinejmenším 1000 lidí. Příčinou nevraživosti mezi kmeny jsou blízká ložiska zlata, diamantů a coltanu, cenných či důležitých při výrobě elektroniky, zvláště mobilních telefonů. Nyankunde je sídlem velkého zdravotnického zařízení provozovaného osmi misijními organizacemi. Jediný přivaděč vody boje vyřadily a v regionu propukla cholera. I když se skupina zdravotníků dostala do bezpečí, přes 2000 lidí je dál v Nyankunde, kde podle uprchlíků „nezůstalo vůbec nic.“ Přicházejí navzájem si odporující zprávy o osudu hlavního kaplana Salomona Isereve, který byl údajně mučen a zaživa upálen. Jiný církevní pracovník Henri Bisimake, oblastní koordinátor boje proti HIV/AIDS byl zastřelen, když se do Nyankunde vrátil z konference v Nairobi.

*Nejnovější zprávy v originální anglické verzi jsou vždy ZDE (klikněte).


The U.S. has dispatched troops to Bouake, the second-largest city in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), to safeguard the 200 students and staff--most of them Americans--trapped at the International Christian Academy (ICA) which has been caught in the crossfire of fighting among rebels and loyalist soldiers. "At the request of the U.S. ambassador to the Ivory Coast, the U.S. European Command is moving forces to assure the safety of American citizens," Lt. Cmdr. Don Sewell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in Washington. Sewell declined to give further details on any planned operation of if an evacuation were imminent. He only said that the forces were ready "for any and all contingencies." Less than 200 troops are on their way to the West African nation, ready to help move the children to safety if need be. Cut off since rebels seized Bouake during amid a failed coup attempt Thursday, children at the school and the rest of the city of 500,000 were frightened by about an hour of gunfire at nightfall Monday.

ICA Director Daniel Grudda said the heaviest gunfire began at about 6:30 p.m. as the students were leaving the dining room in the gated mission compound. "The shots seemed to be aimed across the campus and not down to the ground, but it was evident that many of the weapons being fired were from the backs of vehicles since they (tracer bullets) flew flat across the campus above the wall," Grudda said in an e-mail report. "There was also smaller arms fire aimed up at an angle in the air. Everyone immediately ran for cover as we have practiced several times during these days. Inside a building sitting down with their backs to the wall, people began looking for family members or friends as the shooting continued." The children then returned to their dorms where everyone was accounted for. No one was injured in the compound.

Fighting is also taking place in Korhogo in the northern part of the country where HCJB World Radio has been working with local partners to build a Christian FM radio station. Missionaries Larry and Linda Burk are at a Conservative Baptist compound about five miles outside of Korhogo. "All remains very quiet and calm here on the Baptist compound other than the rebel vehicles we sometimes see on the road," wrote the Burks in an e-mail report Monday afternoon. "By this evening we expect to have 29 of us here! Besides the nine Peace Corps workers who came from town, 10 more workers from villages in the area are joining us. The nationals also brought two people from a hotel in town, a U.S. Aid worker and an Italian businessman. In town life is difficult because of electricity and water breaks, closed shops and shortages of food and gasoline, let alone the danger from the continued shooting and possibilities of stray bullets. It's like a siege. However, there does not seem to be looting, and the rebels' behavior is restrained." Plans have been canceled to have a work team from Kensington Community Church in Troy, Mich., fly to the country on Saturday, Sept. 29, to help build the station in Korhogo.

Lee Sonius, HCJB World Radio's director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said in a telephone interview today from North Carolina that he and his family have delayed returning to Abidjan on the coast of Côte d'Ivoire until at least Saturday because of the fighting. "We've heard that Abidjan is calm and quiet. Some people have gone back to work, but a lot of people are staying home." As far as he knows, Fréquence Vie (Frequency Life), a partner FM station in Abidjan operated by partner SIM and local churches, is still on the air. Sonius said the reports of fighting bring back bad memories of the civil war in neighboring Liberia where he and his family were forced to evacuate twice in the 1990s. "In a way we're just used to it," he said. "Things can be really bad one day, but then in 24 or 48 hours things can be back to normal again."

As fighting ebbed and waned in the center and north of the former French colony, there were signs the political atmosphere was deteriorating in Côte d'Ivoire. Top opposition leader Alassane Dramane Ouattara accused government forces of having tried to kill him during the coup attempt last week that opened the country's bloodiest-ever uprising. Ouattara's supporters, who are predominantly Muslim northerners, have clashed frequently with President Laurent Gbagbo's mostly southern Christian backers. France has sent extra troops and helicopters to the country to reinforce its 600-person strong permanent presence in a country once seen as an oasis of stability in a region scarred by some of Africa's most brutal wars. (AP/HCJB World Radio/ICA)


More than 700 people who took to the jungle after a massacre at their medical compound in the northeastern corner of the Democratic Republic of Congo have reached safety, mission sources in London have learned. The party of doctors, nurses and patients from Nyankunde made a dramatic trek of about 100 miles through savanna and dense forest to reach the town of Oicha, losing not one member of the group on the journey. Among the group is a 75-year-old Canadian missionary, Marianne Baisley, who reportedly refused evacuation on a light plane that took other expatriates out of Nyankunde on Sept. 13 after the medical facilities were destroyed in tribal fighting. Survivors reported that at least 1,000 people died in eight days of inter-tribal strife, triggered by the presence nearby of gold, diamonds and coltan, a valuable ore used in mobile telephones. Nyankunde is home to a major Christian medical center involving more than eight mission bodies. The only water pipe supplying the compound was severed in the fighting, and cholera has now broken out in the region. Although the medical party reached safety, up to 2,000 people remain in Nyankunde where, according to one refugee, "nothing at all is left." There are conflicting reports about the fate of Salomon Isereve, principal chaplain at the Evangelical Medical Center, who was reportedly tortured and burned alive. Another church worker, Henri Basimake, HIV/AIDS coordinator for the province of Congo, was shot dead after returning from a conference in Nairobi. (Ecumenical News International)


On Sept. 20-21 the Islamist government of Sudan killed at least five black, non-Muslims and wounded 10 others during aerial assaults on villages in southern Sudan's Twic county, reported Civil Commissioner James Achii. On Saturday high-altitude Antonov aircraft bombed villages including Moun, Wunrok and Panlit, while on Friday a helicopter gunship fired at civilians along the banks of the Bahr El Arab River. Among the dead are two children (ages 3 and 13) and three women. Five of the most seriously wounded have been evacuated by the International Committee of the Red Cross for emergency treatment. Personnel of the Irish medical aid organization GOAL were also evacuated to Kenya. The murder of civilians in Twic county comes less than three weeks after Sudanese President Omer Hassan al-Bashir pulled out of peace negotiations in Machakos, Kenya, declaring at a mass mobilization rally that his government would press ahead with "jihad" until peace is achieved. (Christian Solidarity International)


Two visiting workers from Global Recordings Network (GRN), a joint ministry that produces and distributes audio evangelism materials in some 5,500 languages, were drugged and robbed recently while traveling by train in Kenya. "Our GRN international coordinator, Doug Armstrong, and his wife, Marg, just ended seven weeks in Kenya," said a ministry spokesman. "Before returning home to Canada they decided to take a few days' holiday. They took a train from Nairobi to the coastal city of Mombasa, a 14-hour overnight ride. Having spent many years there, the Armstrongs were well aware of the dangers and schemes that travelers face in the area. They were careful to always be with their luggage and secure their small compartment before settling in for the night. At about 2 a.m. they were awakened to noises that made them think someone was spraying for mosquitoes. The next thing they knew it was morning . . . and all their valuables were gone. Thugs had sprayed their small room with a drug that put them to sleep. They took their clothes, wallets, money, computer, credit cards and everything of value except their passports. Doug awoke police on the train and made a report. They were delayed a further three hours when they arrived in Mombasa and finally headed for a hotel after they bought a copy of the report for the insurance documents." The Armstrongs were unharmed. (Assist News Service)


Christians are helping people in Papua New Guinea see physically and spiritually. Christian Blind Mission International's John Jeffries says there's an incredible need for ophthalmologists in that country of about 5 million people. He says they like to train nationals to do the work because "Westerners eventually leave. But if we train national surgeons in ophthalmology, they stay. They're familiar with the language. They're familiar with the customs. They're familiar with the culture. In Papua New Guinea this is proving to be very difficult for us, because there aren't a lot of educated people in that area." Jeffries says the church is instrumental in making this outreach more than a healthcare initiative. "We always look to work with churches or mission agencies, and that's exactly the case in New Guinea; and we find that it's actually the local parish workers who actually go out into the highways and byways. We're able to open their eyes in a spiritual sense and, in that sense, we say that we're following the work of Jesus." (Mission Network News)


Argentina's Wichí people are rejoicing about the completion of a Bible in their own language. A 20-year project to translate the Bible into the Wichí language culminated in a series of ceremonies that began on Aug. 23 in Nueva Juárez. Some 500 Wichí people were present to witness the dedication of their Bible in a ceremony opened by Rev. Humberto Axt, an Anglican bishop in northern Argentina. The celebrations were also attended by Marcelo Figueroa, general secretary of the Argentine Bible Society, who presented the Wichí people with the first complete Bible in a language spoken by one of Argentina's indigenous ethnic groups. He expressed the wish that this long-awaited translation would be a source of inspiration and hope to the Wichí people. Mr. Viltes, one of the translators, emphasized that small native communities gain in dignity and feel less marginalized socially when they have the Bible in their own language. He said the project was a "great learning experience, and I thank God for the opportunity I was granted." The Argentine Bible Society and the Anglican Church are working to produce literacy materials in Wichí. They also plan to continue supporting the creation of community radio stations broadcasting in native languages and bringing God's Word to communities across a wide area of the country. (Bible Society in Australia)

* The ALAS Latin American satellite radio network, operated jointly by HCJB World Radio and Trans World Radio, reaches 17 countries with Christian Spanish programming on more than 107 transmitters. These include radio outlets in three cities of Argentina: Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Jujuy.

FREE BOOKLET: Order your own copy of HCJB World Radio's new 20-page booklet, "God Keeps Opening Doors," by e-mailing your name and mailing address to doors@hcjb.org .

   Biskup Malchaz Songulašvili, klíčový křesťanský vůdce v gruzínském Tbilisi, říká, že pálení Biblí, které provedla letos skupina pod vedením disidentského pravoslavného kněze u baptistického skladiště, posloužila hlavně ke sjednocení evangelických křesťanů a ostatních menších skupin, bojujících za náboženskou svobodu. Songulašvili, pastor Centrální baptistické církve v Tbilisi a prezident Evangelické baptistické církve, se o tom zmínil ve svém vystoupení 20. září ve Washingtonu D.C. Navštívil také Státní oddělení, aby hovořil o záležitostech náboženských svobod. Gruzínská ústava zaručuje úplnou náboženskou svobodu, ale existuje velká opozice ze strany pravoslavné církve, řekl. Zatímco křesťanství přišlo do Gruzie v roce 337, práce baptistů trvá 132 let a je relativně nová. Dodal, že Centrální baptistická církev se rozhodla se zajímat o, jak to sami nazvali, „nemoci a bolesti společnosti“ a „možnost zapojit společnost“. To zviditelnilo církev a zhoršilo vztahy s pravoslavnou církví. Ukázal na videu zachycené pálení Biblí o velikonoční neděli, kdy kněžství zbavený gruzínský pravoslavný kněz Basil Mkalavišvili řekl na národním TV kanále, že Bible a křesťanská literatura se pálí proto, že je to „jed pro náš národ“. Jak Mkalavišvili přiléval petrolej do ohně, skupina jeho následovníků odříkávala modlitbu Páně. Dosud nebyl nikdo zatčen v souvislosti se spalováním Biblí a Songulašvili řekl, že nedošlo ani k dalším útokům proti evangelickým církvím.(Baptist World Alliance)
   (Assist News Service/Christian Solidarity Worldwide) - Velké neštěstí postihlo pákistánskou křesťanskou menšinu. Dva muži se střelnými zbraněmi vtrhli dnes ráno do budovy v Karáčí, svázali a zastřelili sedm křesťanů. K útoku došlo ve druhém poschodí úřadoven Institutu pro mír a spravedlnost aneb Pákistánské křesťanské charity činné ve městě. Televizní záběry ukazují přikrytá těla odvážená z budovy. Vyšetřování zatím ukázalo, že oběti byly zabity střelou zblízka do hlavy. Policejní ředitel v Karáčí Kamal Šáh řekl reportérům, že „oběti měly ruce svázané za zády a ústa přelepená páskou.“ Organizace pracovala v Karáčí 27 let pro chudé městské zaměstnance a textilní dělníky, aby pro ně prosazovala základní zaměstnanecká práva a organizovala programy spolu s místní skupinou ochránců lidských práv. „Tito extrémisté se zaměřují na naše modlitebny a instituce,“ řekl Cecil Chaudry, výkonný tajemník All Pakistan Minorities Alliance a starší náměstek předsedy Minorities Advisory Council . „Postižená organizace v minulosti vykonala mnoho dobrého ve své části města a i v hygienické službě. Strach je teď velký a křesťané se ptají, kdy to skončí. Někdy přemýšlím, zdali nepřátelé nezkoušejí dohnat nás k tomu, abychom proti nim pozvedli ruce, ale to nikdy neuděláme.“ Série nepřátelských útoků na křesťanské organizace vedla v posledních několika měsících k usmrcení nejméně 30 Pákistánců a ke zranění stovky dalších.

*Nejnovější zprávy v originální anglické verzi jsou vždy ZDE (klikněte).


U.S. military C-130s and U.S. troops landed in Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) today on a rescue mission for Americans in the West African nation's deadliest-ever uprising. Two U.S. cargo planes touched down at 2 p.m. local time in the capital city of Yamoussoukro. The city was a staging area for a French rescue mission earlier today to the cut-off, rebel-held city of Bouake. Richard Buangan, an American diplomat helping to coordinate the effort, said about 300 Americans were trapped at the International Christian Academy in Bouake. The students were then evacuated. "Our idea is to get as many out as possible," he said. American soldiers jumped off the planes on touchdown, securing the tarmac as gun-mounted Humvees drove down the ramps. Armed, uniformed troops, some in helmets, then filed down onto the airstrip in the thickly forested city.

The rush to safeguard Westerners comes as the Ivory Coast government struggles to retake two cities, Bouake and the northern opposition stronghold of Korhogo, lost to insurgents since Thursday's coup attempt. At least 270 people died in the first days of the uprising. The U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, confirmed that troops had landed at a West African staging area. "Forces have arrived in the region to be in a closer position to provide for the safety and security of the American citizens in the Ivory Coast in wake of the recent civil unrest," said Maj. Bill Bigelow, a spokesman for the European Command, before the landings in Yamoussoukro. HCJB World Radio missionaries Larry and Linda Burk, along with about 30 other foreigners, are awaiting possible evacuation from the Conservative Baptist compound about five miles outside of Korhogo. "We've had another quiet, peaceful day here on the compound," they wrote in an e-mail report Tuesday afternoon. "Several more Peace Corps workers have joined us. However, we just had word to prepare for evacuation. We were expecting the French to possibly get us, but now our own country is coming to our rescue." The rebels in Korhogo have been remarkably "restrained," the Burks reported. "There is no looting in town, they pay for what they take from the stores and prosecute those who do steal. However, they are taking vehicles at gunpoint . . . and we've had reports of them forcing young men into their army. But they seem focused on their own conflict with the government forces and are not after foreigners. They even helped bring some of the Peace Corps workers here."

The Burks hope they will be evacuated back to the coastal city of Abidjan where they live and serve at HCJB World Radio's Sub-Saharan Africa office. The Burks were in Korhogo to install the antenna for a partner FM radio station that will be operated by the Conservative Baptists and local churches. Fréquence Vie (Frequency Life), a partner FM station in Abidjan operated by partner SIM and local churches since 1999, is believed to still be on the air. HCJB World Radio missionary Daniel Dossmann is in Abidjan but may leave the country to rejoin his wife, Françoise, who is in France. (Associated Press/HCJB World Radio)


In a major setback for Pakistan's Christian minority, two gunmen burst into an office in Karachi this morning and tied up and shot dead seven Christians. The attack occurred at the third-floor offices of the Institute for Peace and Justice, or a Pakistani Christian charity that works in the city. Television footage showed how covered bodies were carried out of the building as investigations revealed that all the victims were shot in the head at close range. Karachi Police Chief Kamal Shah told reporters that the victims were "tied up in chairs with their hands behind their backs and their mouths taped before being shot pointblank in the head." For 27 years the organization has worked with Karachi's poor municipal and textile workers to press for basic worker rights, and organizing programs with local human rights groups. "These extremists just want to keep targeting our places of worship and institutions," said Cecil Chaudry, executive secretary of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance and senior vice chairman of the Minorities Advisory Council. "This was a very good organization that has done a lot of good for the neighborhood and in sanitary work. There is a great deal of fear and Christians are asking when is it going to stop. I sometimes wonder whether they're trying to drive us to take up arms against them, but we are not going to do that." A series of violent assaults on Christian agencies have killed at least 30 Pakistanis and injured more than 100 others in the last few months. (Assist News Service/Christian Solidarity Worldwide)


Bishop Malkhaz Songulashvili, a key Christian leader in Tbilisi, Georgia, says the burning of Bibles at a Baptist warehouse earlier this year by a group led by a dissident Orthodox priest has only served to unite evangelical Christians and other minority groups in their fight for religious liberty. Songulashvili, pastor of Central Baptist Church in Tbilisi and president of the Evangelical Baptist Church, made the comments during a Sept. 20 presentation in Washington, D.C. He also visited the State Department to discuss religious freedom concerns. Georgia's constitution guarantees full freedom of religion, but there is much opposition from the Orthodox Church, he said. While Christianity was introduced to Georgia in AD 337, the Baptist work of 132 years is relatively new. He added that Central Baptist Church has decided to get involved in what he called the "ills and pains of society" and to "engage the society." This has increased the church's visibility, causing difficulties with the Orthodox Church. He showed a video of the Bible burning on Easter Sunday in which defrocked Georgian Orthodox priest Basil Mkalavishvili told national TV viewers that Bibles and Christian literature was being burned because it was "poisoning our nation." As Mkalavishvili poured kerosene on the flames, a group of his followers chanted the Lord's prayer. So far there have been no arrests in the Bible-burning incident, and Songulashvili said there have been no further raids on other evangelical churches. (Baptist World Alliance)


Local Baptists in the Uzbek town of Chirchik have filed a formal complaint after four police officers raided a religious meeting in a private apartment on Sunday, Sept. 8. The Baptists were warned that as an "unregistered religious community" they would face administrative and possibly criminal punishment if they continued to hold meetings. During questioning of the church members, police officers accused them of disseminating literature the claimed Christian teaching was "superior" to that of other religions and was therefore "inciting religious hostilities." An official from the town's internal affairs department said the Baptists' complaint was being handled by the local procuracy. Under Uzbek law, religious organizations with less than 100 members are not allowed to register. The raid in Chirchik was just the latest in a series of incidents in which religious literature has been the focus of accusations. Charges of this kind appear to be being brought mainly in areas with an exclusively Uzbek population. (Keston News Service)


Liberian President Charles Taylor has lifted an eight-month long state of emergency. Rebels have been trying to topple Taylor for three years; however, the insurgency appears to have been put down. Tom Dudenhoffer of Audio Scripture Ministries says he is hopeful about the future of the work in Liberia. "As long as the state of emergency remains lifted, we believe that the original Kisi project will grow. We sent only half of our project request into Sierra Leone, and now that the door is open in Liberia, we believe that we'll be able to send the second half of that project, and we expect God to use His Word. "In the shadow of uncertain peace, believers need prayer for wisdom, Dudenhoffer says. "The Kisi people share the countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone and even into Ghana. So they are going to ministering to each other during these times and the political unrest makes it extremely difficult for the believers to know exactly how they should operate." (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio works in partnership with ELWA, a ministry founded by SIM in Monrovia, Liberia, in 1954, to air the gospel across the country and West Africa. The station was destroyed twice by civil war, first in 1990 and again in 1996. ELWA went back on the air in 1997 with a small FM transmitter supplied by HCJB World Radio. Then in 2000 HCJB World Radio provided a low-power shortwave transmitter, again enabling the station to reach the region. ELWA broadcasts the gospel in 10 languages and plans to add more as resources become available.


A judge in Peru that has twice denied freedom for imprisoned evangelical army Col. David de Vinatea has dealt another blow to his quest for justice. Judge Pilar Carbonel Vilchez of Lima's 18th Penal Court denied his bid for early release late Friday, Sept. 20, said de Vinatea's lawyer, Gino Romero. He called the ruling, which followed three months of promises and legal maneuvering from Carbonel's court, a "mockery of justice." In denying de Vinatea's bid, Carbonel said he was not eligible for early release because he was convicted of drug-trafficking crimes. Romero said he will appeal the ruling to Peru's Superior Court and file a complaint against Carbonel with the office that oversees judicial conduct. "There is no explanation, let alone justification, for her to have taken so long to hand down the decision she handed down," he said. De Vinatea, 50, has been imprisoned since 1995 for crimes he says he did not commit. A coalition of international Christian organizations, citing many judicial irregularities in his trial and subsequent legal proceedings, believe that he is an innocent victim of corruption. (Compass)

FREE BOOKLET: Order your own copy of HCJB World Radio's new 20-page booklet, "God Keeps Opening Doors," by e-mailing your name and mailing address to doors@hcjb.org . You'll also receive a free bookmark.

   (Voice of the Martyrs) - Katolický kněz, který pracoval ve prospěch usmíření v oblasti Medelínu byl ve čtvrtek 20. září zabit členy milice. Otec Luis Arroyave Restrepo pracoval na zprostředkování míru v konfliktu mezi místními obyvateli a byl také v tomto smyslu kontaktu s ozbrojenými skupinami. Zabit byl při rozvážení letáků. Nějaký mladík přistoupil k jeho dodávce a zastřelil ho upilovanou brokovnicví. Arroyave je čtvrtým katolickým církevním pracovníkem zabitým letos v Kolumbii. Nepřátelství polovojenských povstaleckých skupin v Kolumbii si od ledna vyžádalo přes 300 životů.

*Nejnovější zprávy v originální anglické verzi jsou vždy ZDE (klikněte).

   (Mission Network News) - Pákistánská policie se obává dalších útoků na křesťanské cíle. Associated Press informuje, že úřady sejmuly označení z církevních zařízení na soukromých domech a jiná křesťanská místa střeží. K těmto krokům se policie rozhodla po nálezu map dvou kostelů a křesťanské školy a také zbraní a výbušnin při zatýkání dvou podezřelých islámských aktivistů v Karáčí. I v dalších pákistánských městech byly přijaty odpovídající kroky k ochraně kostelů.

American teens, young children and teachers rescued from a pinned-down missionary boarding school took off from Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) on Thursday in a U.S. C-130 cargo plane under military guard, the first U.S. evacuees in the West African country's bloody uprising. About 20 Americans boarded a U.S. military plane at Yamoussoukro, the capital of Ivory Coast and staging point for their evacuation from the rebel-held city of Bouake by French troops. U.S. soldiers carrying assault rifles flanked the plane. French troops on Wednesday evacuated 191 Westerners from the International Christian Academy in Bouake where there were 148 Americans (including 98 children) and 43 others, including French and Canadian citizens. U.S. officials said plans were still being made for some of the other evacuated Westerners. The 20 aboard the plane were bound for Accra, capital of neighboring Ghana. U.S. officials said they would screen them, oversee reunions with their families and facilitate flights back to the U.S. for those who chose to go. Many of the children are sons and daughters of American missionaries based in Ivory Coast and elsewhere in Africa.

French troops escorted students and staff members in a convoy, traveling about 50 miles from Bouake to Yamoussoukro. Conservative Baptist Rick Allen asked people to pray "for the safety of the personnel as they're leaving, that they would be able to reach their next destination without any problems. Also pray for the other people who are still in the country. We think of the missionaries that are spread out and don't have that option to leave."

Lee Sonius, HCJB World Radio's director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said in a telephone conversation from North Carolina this morning that if the situation in Ivory Coast continues to deteriorate, it could be a "real blow" for mission work in West Africa. "Because this country had been so stable for so many years, many mission organizations have placed offices in Abidjan. There are hundreds of missionaries in the country, and many of them are in Abidjan." Sonius and his family plan to return to Abidjan on Saturday after completing home ministry assignment in the U.S.

Sonius has not heard if HCJB World Radio missionaries Larry and Linda Burk and about 30 other foreigners have been evacuated from outside of Korhogo, a city in the northern part of the country that has been controlled by rebels since the uprising began last Thursday. The Burks were in Korhogo to install an antenna for a partner FM radio station that will be operated by the Conservative Baptists and local churches. A work group from Kensington Community Church in Troy, Mich., that planned to travel to Korhogo on Saturday will instead help with HCJB World Radio partner ministry CCFm at the Living Hope Community Center in Cape Town, South Africa. Fréquence Vie (Frequency Life), a partner FM station in Abidjan operated by partner SIM and local churches since 1999, continues to air messages of encouragement to people in the area. HCJB World Radio missionary Daniel Dossmann has decided to leave Abidjan to rejoin his wife, Françoise, in France where she had been on compassion leave for about a month to comfort a grieving relative. (Associated Press/MNN/HCJB World Radio)


A Catholic priest who was working for peace in the Medellín area was killed by members of a militia group on Thursday, Sept. 20. Father José Luis Arroyave Restrepo had been working to mediate conflicts between residents in the area as well as serving as a liaison with armed groups. He was killed while distributing leaflets when a young man approached his van and shot him with a sawed-off shotgun. Arroyave is the fourth Catholic leader to be killed in Colombia this year. Violence by paramilitary rebel groups in Colombia has claimed more than 300 lives since January. (Voice of the Martyrs)


Christian ministries in Myanmar (formerly called Burma) are dazed after being told to close their orphanages and other child-care and feeding programs for the poor. A ministry leader that operates a Christian orphanage and offers several ministries to the poor said that local authorities are clamping down on activities such as orphanages, child daycare centers and feeding programs for the poor when run by Christians. Authorities started closing Christian orphanages a year ago, and the leader said that several of his colleagues have been told to stop operating such programs, apparently because many of those receiving help are committing their lives to Christ. Children in public schools must bow to Buddha, but this isn't true of children attending Christian schools. Authorities in Myanmar are trying to halt the spread of Christianity in that land. As a result, believers are also restricted from holding house-church meetings. Singing hymns and praying is allowed by families only if no other visitors are present. (Christian Aid Mission)


Pakistani police fear there could be a round of new attacks on Christian targets. The Associated Press reported that authorities have removed signs identifying churches in private homes and fortified other Christian sites. The measures came after police found maps of two churches and a Christian school, along with weapons and explosives, during the arrest of two suspected Islamic militants in Karachi. Steps to safeguard churches were taken in several other Pakistani cities as well. (Mission Network News)


Police have ordered the closure of two churches in Cikarang Barat, West Java, in central Indonesia. The buildings were sealed by the authorities on Friday, Sept. 6, apparently responding to local people complaining about the church buildings and activities of Christians. This follows the closure of four church buildings in nearby Cikarang Baru in July. In addition, two church buildings near Bandung, West Java, that were undergoing expansion projects were forced to close while local authorities forced a church in the Malang district of East Java to shut down. In each case local objections have been cited as the reason for closure. However, Christians involved in these situations believe that extremist Islamic groups opposed to Christian activities in these areas are orchestrating the objections and complaints. Local officials deny this claim, saying it is merely a matter of obtaining the necessary permit to use a building for religious activities. (Barnabas Fund)


The National Study of Youth and Religion, released Sept. 18, shows regular religious service attendance, faith and participation in religious youth groups is clearly associated with safer, healthier, more constructive lifestyles for U.S. teenagers. The survey also shows that religious high school seniors receive fewer traffic tickets, are more likely to wear their seatbelts and less likely to get in trouble with police than less religious seniors. Religious adolescents also tend to be better behaved at school and are less likely than others to be sent to detention, skip school or be suspended or expelled. Religious seniors are more likely to volunteer in their community and participate in student government, and they tend to play more sports or exercise significantly more than their less religious peers. (Religion Today)

FREE BOOKLET: Order your own copy of HCJB World Radio's new 20-page booklet, "God Keeps Opening Doors," by e-mailing your name and mailing address to doors@hcjb.org ..

   Americká mládež, děti a učitelé byli ve čtvrtek zachráněni z misionářské internátní školy na Pobřeží slonoviny, odkud odletěli americkým nákladním letadlem C-130 s vojenským doprovodem. Byli to první evakuovaní během západoafrického krvavého povstání v zemi. Okolo dvaceti Američanů nastoupilo na palubu amerického vojenského letadla v hlavním městě Pobřeží slonoviny,Yamoussoukro, kam jsou evakuováni z města Bouake, které obsadili rebelové. Američtí vojáci se zbraněmi v ruce stáli kolem letadla. Francouzské jednotky ve středu evakuovaly 191 lidí ze západu z Mezinárodní křesťanské akademie v Bouake, kde bylo 148 Američanů (včetně 98 dětí) a 43 z jiných národů, včetně Francouzů a Kanaďanů. Americké úřady sdělily, že se stále připravují plány pro některé další evakuované. Těch dvacet lidí na palubě odletělo do Akry, hlavního města sousední Ghany. Americké úřady řekly, že budou mít přehled o všech, postarají se o to, aby se rodinní příslušníci znovu dostali do kontaktu a zajistí lety zpět do USA pro ty, kteří si to budou přát.Tyto děti jsou většinou z rodin amerických misionářů, kteří slouží na Pobřeží slonoviny a na jiných místech v Africe. Francouzské jednotky eskortovaly studenty a zaměstnance v konvoji, který cestoval asi 50 mil z Bouake do Yamoussoukro. Konzervativní baptista Rick Alen požádal lidi, aby se modlili „za bezpečí všech, kteří odjíždějí, aby se dostali do dalšího místa bez problémů. Také se modlete za ty lidi, kteří zůstávají v zemi. Myslíme na ty misionáře, kteří jsou na různých místech a nemají možnost odejít.“ Lee Sonius, ředitel pro saharskou Afriku v HCJB World Radio, řekl dnes ráno v telefonickém rozhovoru ze Severní Karolíny, že kdyby situace na Pobřeží slonoviny dále postupovala tímto směrem, byla by to „obrovská rána“ pro tamní misionářskou práci. Protože tato země byla po tak dlouhou dobu stabilní, mnoho misijních organizací umístilo své stanice a úřady v Abidjánu. Jsou tam stovky misionářů a mnoho z nich je právě v Abidjánu.“ Sonius se svou rodinou plánuje návrat do Abidjánu na neděli, po dokončení všech příprav v Americe. Sonius neví, zda misionáři Larry a Linda Burk, kteří pracují pro HCJB World Radio, a dalších asi třicet cizinců, byli evakuováni z Korhoga, města v severní části země, které bylo pod kontrolou rebelů od doby, kdy minulý čtvrtek povstání vypuklo. Burkovi byli v Korhogu, aby instalovali anténu pro partnerskou radiovou stanici FM, kterou budou řídit Konzervativní baptisté a místní sbory. Pracovní skupina z Kensingtonského sboru ve městě Troy v Michiganu, která měla přijet do Korhoga v sobotu, bude místo toho pomáhat ve službě v Kapském městě. Fréquence Vie, partner stanice FM v Abidjánu, kterou řídí SIM a místní sbory od roku 1999, pokračuje ve vysílání a podporuje lidi žijící v této oblasti. Misionář HCJB World Radio Daniel Dossmann se rozhodl odejít z Abidjánu a připojit se ke své manželce Francoise ve Francii, která je tam už asi měsíc na dovolené, z důvodu úmrtí v rodině. (Associated Press/MNN/HCJB World Radio)
   To říká Tom Doyle z Evangecube International,. „Víme, že muslimové skutečně začínají přemýšlet o svém náboženství. Bereme to tak doslova? Chceme být součástí toho všeho? Dějí se velké věci v Jordánsku i na místech jako je pásmo Gazy a Spojené arabské emiráty, kde se muslimové poprvé v životě seznamují s křesťanstvím. Evangecubes jsou kostky, na kterých je zobrazeno sedm výjevů, které pomáhají lidem šířit evangelium. Kostky jsou jim propašovávány na Blízký východ. „Měli jsme okolo 550 kostek,“ řekl. „To co u nás hledají, jsou kříže. Tak jsme se modlili, abychom nebyli vidět s těmi kostkami, ale samozřejmě je našli. A víte, co? Nehledě na to, jak je otvírali, pokaždé minuli kříž!“ (Mission Network News)
   (Voice of the Martyrs) - Vietnamská vláda přitvrdila ve svém tažení proti křesťanům z národnostní skupiny Horalů (franc. „Montagnards“) obývajícím vietnamskou centrální vysočinu. Skupina obhájců lidských práv Human Rights Watch oznamuje, že 30 Horalů bylo od června uvězněno, toho za poslední měsíc 18. Vládní útlak se zaměřuje na představitele protestantů, místní obhájce lidských práv a osoby podezřelé z pomáhání uprchlíkům do sousední Kambodže. Mnoho Horalů přes hranici utíká, ale Kambodža je posílá zpátky na základě mezivládní dohody. Takto bylo od dubna vráceno přes 400 uprchlíků. Ve Vietnamu jim pak hrozí vězení, mučení i smrt. Pronásledování je brutálnější od doby, kdy se za azyl pro asi 800 uprchlíků zaručily USA, když mezinárodní tlak zesílil. Křesťanští kazatelé a církevní pracovníci jsou nyní více sledováni a některým vesnicím bylo zcela odpojeno telefonní spojení, aby nemohly komunikovat s okolím.

*Nejnovější zprávy v originální anglické verzi jsou vždy ZDE (klikněte).


The 200 schoolchildren and staff members from the International Christian Academy in Bouake, Côte d'Ivoire, spent their first day in freedom on Thursday after French troops backed by U.S. forces rescued them from the besieged school. The mainly American and Canadian children of missionary workers across Africa were seen waving flags and shouting, "Vive la France!" as about 100 French troops escorted their convoy through rebel-held territory. Some of the evacuees were then flown to Accra, Ghana, but 177 adults and students drove to Abidjan on the Atlantic coast.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that thousands of panicked residents are trying to flee Bouake under threat of government attack while helicopters swept in and out of the city today, flying more trapped Westerners to safety. Fearing that a showdown between the government and rebels was imminent, panicked residents have been jamming roads out of the Bouake, the country's second-largest city, traveling on foot with bundles of goods and cooking pots on their heads. Soldiers manning checkpoints outside of the West African city turned back the local citizens and other African nationals. Helicopters and convoys rushed hundreds out of Bouake to the airstrip in the capital city of Yamoussoukro under a rapidly expiring 48-hour cease-fire negotiated Thursday morning with rebels to get foreigners to safety. Nearly 1,000 foreigners, including British, French and American citizens, fled Bouake on Thursday under protection of French troops, driving about 50 miles to Yamoussoukro. Some were also flown out to Ghana.

The evacuation ended a nearly weeklong ordeal that began last Thursday following a failed coupe attempt that left more than 270 people dead. The uprising began with a core group of about 800 former soldiers who were angry over their dismissal from the army on suspicion of disloyalty. As fighting continued, several shots were fired at the mission compound where the children and teachers were holed up. Hundreds of thousands of frightened citizens were still hiding in their homes as President Laurent Gbagbo pledged to root out the rebels in what was once West Africa's most stable and prosperous country.

Lee Sonius, HCJB World Radio's director for Sub-Saharan Africa, said in a telephone conversation from South Carolina this morning that the situation in Abidjan is "tense, but calm and quiet. There is concern that the rebels could move into Abidjan." He said the rebels have gained some public support, and the situation could "snowball." Sonius and his family hope to return to Abidjan this weekend after completing home ministry assignment in the U.S., depending on the political situation.

HCJB World Radio missionaries Larry and Linda Burk and about 30 other foreigners continue to await evacuation from Korhogo, a city in the northern part of the country that has been controlled by rebels since the uprising began last Thursday. "We don't know yet when, how or where we will be evacuated," the Burks wrote in an e-mail report Thursday afternoon. "The people in Bouake have highest priority because of the continued fighting, cuts in electricity and water, and difficulty of food supply. It is amazing to think of all the people who are praying for us in this situation, and we are so grateful. Pray that the Lord would guide our path. Pray that the Peace Corps workers and others here with us would see Jesus in us and be drawn to Him. And pray for peace, good government and the spread of the gospel in this country."

The Burks were in Korhogo to install an antenna for a partner FM station that will be operated by the Conservative Baptists and local churches. A work group from Kensington Community Church in Troy, Mich., that planned to travel to Korhogo on Saturday will instead help with HCJB World Radio partner ministry CCFm at the Living Hope Community Center in Cape Town, South Africa. Fréquence Vie (Frequency Life), a partner FM station in Abidjan operated by partner SIM and local churches since 1999, continues to air messages of encouragement to people in the area. HCJB World Radio missionary Daniel Dossmann planned to leave Abidjan today to rejoin his wife, Françoise, in France where she has been on compassion leave for about a month to comfort a grieving relative. (Assist/AP/HCJB World Radio)


In Pakistan sadness was mixed with dread as Christians mourned the recent loss of seven members in their church in Karachi. Jerry Dykstra of Open Doors says prayer is desperately needed for believers there. "It really is a really terrible time to be living in Pakistan, and they live in fear actually every time they go to work and go to church they're in fear of their lives." However, he said Christians can turn this obstacle into an opportunity to advance the gospel. "We need to pray that the government will give Christians protection from the terrorist and the extremist. We need to pray that their lives will be strengthened, knowing that others are praying for them. And we also have to pray that Christians can have an impact other Christians and other Muslims who are in that area." Pakistani Christians closed churches and Christian schools for the day. No arrests have been made in the attack, but police say at least two gunmen were involved. (Mission Network News)


In a historic vote in the Nicaraguan parliament July 15, politicians voted 75-1 in favor of declaring the last Sunday in September as a "National Day of the Bible. "There was very little debate," reported the Texas-based ministry Global Vision. "The way had already been paved in closed-door meetings with the Liberal and Sandinista parties. Each had sought the advice of Rev. Freddy Fonseca, national director of the Nicaraguan Bible Society. Oddly enough, these private sessions revolved more around questions of personal salvation than around the political ramifications of this bill. Freddy was ready and willing to give his testimony." After the vote, the Nicaraguan Bible Society handed out Bibles to members of parliament. "Chaos broke out on the floor as members of parliament scrambled to acquire their copy of the Word of God. One member, confronted with the three Bibles he already in his hands, replied, 'I needed five--one for each member of my family!'" Global Vision will officially sponsor Nicaragua's first National Day of the Bible on Sunday, Sept. 29. (Assist News Service)


The government of Vietnam has stepped up its campaign against the Montagnard Christians in the central highlands of Vietnam. Human Rights Watch reported that at least 30 Montagnards have been arrested since June, including 18 in the last month. The crackdown appears to be centered on Protestant church leaders, land rights advocates and individuals suspected of guiding asylum seekers to neighboring Cambodia. Many of the Montagnards have been fleeing across the border. However, Cambodia has been sending the refugees back to Vietnam through an agreement with the Vietnamese government. More than 400 refugees have been returned to Vietnam since April. When the refugees return, they face arrest, harassment, torture and even death. The repression has become particularly brutal since more than 800 refugees were granted asylum in the U.S. last spring after international pressure. Christian pastors and leaders have been under increased surveillance, and some villages have had all telephone lines cut to help prevent outside communications. (Voice of the Martyrs)


The war on terrorism is opening doors for evangelism in the Muslim world, says Tom Doyle of Evangecube International. "We know that Muslims really started to think about their religion. Do we take this literally? Is this what we really want to be a part of? So there has been a great outpouring in Jordan, and in places like the Gaza Strip and the United Arab Emirates, Muslims are looking at Christianity for the first time in their life." Evangecubes are cubes that turn into seven pictures to help people share the gospel. The cubes are being smuggled into them into the Middle East. "We had about 550 Evangecubes," he said. "What they look for is the cross. So we prayed that we wouldn't be seen with the cubes, but of course they found them. And, do you know, no matter how they opened those cubes, they missed the cross every time!" (Mission Network News)


A movement known as the "30-Second Kneel Down" is sweeping across the U.S. as high school students boldly kneel in prayer for teachers, students and administrators in their schools. The movement, started by Pennsylvania youth pastor Tom Sipling, is part of Joshua Journey Ministries. More than 1 million high school students have taken part in the effort. A website report says the movement's vision is to see a "generational awakening come to the youth around the world in order for them to reap a last days' harvest." Many witnessing opportunities have opened up as a result of students asking why they are kneeling. (Religion Today)

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