Zprávy HCJB 25.3.2003

   Vietnamské úřady zakázaly téměř všechny domácí sbory v provincii , která se nachází v regiónu střední vysočiny. Podle International Christian Concern (ICC), odkud byl nedávno vyslán tým, který měl za úkol zjistit, jaká je situace, zůstaly otevřené pouze dva sbory ze 417 v Dac Lac. Organizace pro lidská práva, která sídlí ve městě Washington, sdělila, že křesťané žijící v provinciích střední vysočiny – včetně Lam Dong, Gia Lai a Kon Tum a oblasti severně od Hanoje – poskytují zprávy o vzrůstajícím pronásledování, přestože sbory dál rostou. Pastorové a církevní vedoucí jsou neustále vyslýcháni a jsou pod policejním dozorem. Vláda i nadále odmítá zaměstnání věřícím a staří nebo potřební křesťané nedostávají ani sociální dávky. Někteří po svém obrácení byli zbiti. „Nemodlíme se za to, aby Bůh tu situaci změnil, ale aby byl sbor dostatečně silný, aby vydržel a nedal se,“ řekl jeden z pastorů pro ICC. „Bůh je vždy věrný.“ Tým ICC zjistil, že dva z jedenácti nedávno zatčených hmongských pastorů už byli propuštěni. (Maranatha)
   (Compass) - S cílem změnit ústavu a ve jménu hesla „Indie je hinduistická“ vystupují hinduističtí fundamentalisté proti křesťanům. „Myslím že stojím na straně Hindutva (národního hinduizmu), ne vlády,“ řekl generální tajemník Světové rady hinduistů (VHP) Dr. Praveen Togadia snažící se o tuto změnu. Rozhodli jsem se poslouchat více Rámu (hinduistického boha) než Raje (tj. vládu).“ Zprávy z venkova naznačují, že hinduistické organizace nutí křesťany k návratu k hinduizmu. Gang podezřelých hinduistických aktivistů napadl otce A. Antonyho, 49letého katolického kněze v Chintalapudi a s namířenou zbraní mu uloupili 100,000 rupií ($2,100). Před několika měsíci dostal od neznámých osob vyděračský dopis. Kromě toho se mezináboženské napětí zvýšilo když federální vláda odhalila v ústřední síni parlamentu obraz Veer Savarakara, zakladatele fundamentálního hinduizmu.

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


Vietnamese authorities have shut down nearly all of the house churches in a province of the Central Highlands region. According to International Christian Concern (ICC), which recently sent a team to conduct a fact-finding trip, only two churches remain open out of 417 fellowships in Dac Lac. The Washington, D.C.-based human rights organization said Christians living in other Central Highlands provinces -- including Lam Dong, Gia Lai and Kon Tum, and areas north of Hanoi -- report that persecution is increasing, although churches continue to grow. The pastors and church leaders are targeted through police interrogations and surveillance. The government also continues to deny jobs to believers, and benefits to Christians who are elderly or disabled are cut off. Some have been beaten after converting. "We do not pray that God changes the situation, but that the church be strong to endure and stand," one pastor told ICC. "God is always faithful." The ICC team discovered that two of 11 recently imprisoned Hmong pastors have been released. (Maranatha)


Spurred by a call to amend the constitution and declare India a "Hindu nation," fundamentalists have stepped up attacks against Christians. "I think we stand for Hindutva (nationalist Hinduism) and not for government," said World Hindu Council (VHP) general secretary, Dr. Praveen Togadia, as he pressed for the amendment. "We have decided to go for Ram (a Hindu god) rather than Raj (the government)." Reports from rural areas indicate Hindu organizations have been forcing Christian believers to re-convert to Hinduism. A gang of suspected Hindu activists also assaulted Father A. Anthony, 49, a Catholic priest in Chintalapudi, in February and robbed him at gunpoint of 100,000 rupees ($2,100). Several months ago, Anthony had received an extortion demand from unidentified persons. Finally, inter-religious tension worsened when the federal government unveiled a portrait of Veer Savarkar, the father of fundamentalist Hinduism, in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi. (Compass)


Indonesia's first Islamic court opened in the troubled northwest province of Aceh on March 3 as thousands celebrated. The Aceh legislature recently instituted sharia, the Islamic legal system based on the teachings of the Quran. The new court can implement punishment for Muslims who propagate beliefs other than Islam, fail to attend Friday prayers three times in a row, or sell food, cigarettes or drinks in daylight hours during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. Officials said the court would eventually handle murder, adultery and theft cases. Led by two decorated elephants, about 5,000 people in the city of Banda Aceh marched, sang Muslim songs and chanted prayers to mark the inauguration of the court, which coincided with Islamic New Year celebrations. The government of Indonesia has tried to maintain religious neutrality. However, the country's estimated population of 220 million is 80 percent Muslim, making it the world's most populous Muslim nation. (Compass)


Forum 18 News Service, an Internet news service which initially is focusing on persecuted Christians and other religious groups in the former Soviet Union and its satellite states, was launched March 13 as a replacement for Keston News Service. Based in Oslo, Norway, F18News is "a group committed to religious freedom for all on the basis of Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights," said editor Felix Corley in a statement to Assist News Service. Forum 18 News Service, which will send e-mails to subscribers, will report "on threats and actions against the religious freedom of all people, regardless of their religious affiliation, in an objective, truthful and timely manner," throughout Eastern Europe, the organization said. F18News, found online at www.forum18.org , comes after the British-based Keston Institute announced earlier this year it had closed its well-known Keston News Service because of financial difficulties and personnel changes. Church leaders and human rights activists had expressed concern that Keston's end would undermine the monitoring of religious persecution in Eastern Europe. F18News said it plans to expand its coverage to other areas amid reports of growing persecution of Christians worldwide, from China to the Middle East. Subscription to F18News is free and can be received several times or once a week, Corley said. (Baptist Press)


You can now pre-order a special New Tribes Mission edition of Gracia Burnham's book, "In the Presence of My Enemies," with a foreword by Oli Jacobsen, chairman of NTM's Executive Committee. Retail price for the book is $22.99, but NTM is selling the special edition for only $15.98, plus shipping and handling. You can pre-order the book online at www.ntmbooks.com, or by calling 800-321-5375. The book will not be shipped until the release date, May 11. Quantities of the special edition are limited, and this offer is good only while supplies last. (New Tribes Mission)


Two missionaries were recently appointed to key roles at HCJB World Radio as Barb Boers became vice president of finance and treasurer, while Sheila Leech became healthcare director for the Latin America region.

Boers, 38, who served in Ecuador for 12 years, brings a wealth of experience to her new role at Colorado Springs, Colo. She has a bachelor's degree in accounting from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and is working on a master's degree in leadership from Azusa Pacific University in California. She worked in public accounting for 31/2 years before joining HCJB World Radio as an accountant in 1990.

"The Lord placed a desire in my heart to return to the mission field after serving as a working visitor in Quito in the summer of 1986," Boers said. She arrived in Ecuador in late 1990, initially serving as financial director and becoming controller for the Latin America region before transferring to the international headquarters in Colorado Springs last fall.

"My vision has never changed," Boers adds. "Proper accounting is not a roadblock to ministry, it enables ministry. It's important to get people the information they need in a language they can understand."

Leech, 46, who hails from the U.K., says her initial goal as healthcare director is to build unity among the three departments-Hospital Vozandes-Quito, Hospital Vozandes-Shell and Community Development. "Developing a unified vision for healthcare in Ecuador will serve as a solid basis to look at projects across the Latin America region," she says. Projects involving HCJB World Radio already have opened up in countries such as Peru, Brazil and Argentina.

Leech first came to Ecuador in 1980 as a Plymouth Brethren missionary, working among the Colorado Indians, doing "traditional" missionary work such as evangelism, literacy training, visitation and discipleship. "Then I realized that I didn't have any practical skills to help the people," she said. In 1988 she began helping at Hospital Vozandes-Quito as a "patient advocate," addressing patients' concerns.

Leech then decided to return to England where she studied to become a registered nurse and got some practical nursing experience. In 1993 she came back to Ecuador, but this time as a missionary with HCJB World Radio, serving in community development. Within two years she became the department director, exposing her to a wide variety of medical ministries in Ecuador ranging from water projects in remote areas to urban clinics in poor neighborhoods of Quito.

"Healthcare is a way of showing God's love to people," she says. "But I don't see healthcare as a magnet, drawing people to the gospel. Rather, it's a way of showing kindness and compassion as the rule of God. We preach the gospel at all times, and use words if necessary!"

HCJB World Radio, the world's first missionary broadcast organization, has been touching lives around the globe since 1931. Together with its local partners, HCJB World Radio now has ministries in more than 100 countries and broadcasts the gospel in nearly 120 languages and dialects. The mission's passion is to communicate the gospel of Jesus Christ, so that people are transformed and become active, vital parts of the body of Christ. HCJB World Radio also ministers through healthcare and training . . . doing whatever it takes, so all may hear. (HCJB World Radio)

© Copyright 2003 - HCJB World Radio - Colorado Springs, CO USA - btc@hcjb.org


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