Zprávy HCJB 10.8.2003 - 16.8.2003

   (Assist News Service) - Calvary Chapel Radio zahajuje od 14. července digitální vysílání biblického vyučování a duchovní hudby 24 hodin denně ze satelitu na kanálu Sky Digital 906. Tento kanál může přijímat 9 milionů britských domácností. Pastor Chuck Smith z Calvary Chapel z Costa Mesa v Kalifornii v rozhovoru řekl, že se modlí za to, aby toto vysílání přineslo „duchovní obrodu“ do Velké Británie. „Jsme skutečně nadšeni pomyšlením, že již v Británii máme funkční rozhlasovou stanici s Božím slovem a duchovní hudbou,“ řekl Chuck Smith. „Je to první celoplošná modlitební a vyučovací stanice ve Velké Británii. Očekávám a těším se, až uzřím, jak si Pán tento prostředek použije.
   Souhrn některých přeložených zpráv z 12.-15.08.2003 viz 18.8.2003

*Zprávy (pouze v aktuální den) v originální anglické verzi jsou i zde.


Open Doors reported recently of an attack on the students and staff of a Bible school in Dabwali, Haryana state, India. A mob accused the 25-member student body of converting people in the area, and also objected to a film shown on the life of Christ. The crowd burned Bibles and Christian literature, vandalized the school and beat the students. Haryana state is considered to be the most unresponsive to the gospel in India. (Mission Network News)

* In partnership with FEBA Radio, HCJB World Radio airs weekly Christian programs to eastern India via shortwave in three languages: Bhojpuri, Chattisgarhi and Mundari. A five-hour block of English programs also beams across India from HCJB World Radio-Australia's new shortwave site in Kununurra, Australia.


After 20 weeks in a jail in Saudi Arabia for participating in prohibited Christian activities, Eritrean Christian Girmaye Ambaye was deported from Jeddah by plane back to his home country on August 9. According to one of his brothers, Ambaye has remained in Asmara, the Eritrean capital, since his arrival on Saturday night. The brother did not know where Girmaye was staying, but assumed that he is being interviewed by Eritrean authorities regarding the details of his deportation by the Saudi government. Ambaye had been jailed at the Bremen deportation center in the Saudi port city of Jeddah since March 25, when local police put him under arrest for talking to Muslims about his Christian faith. Ambaye, now 42, became active in an Ethiopian-Eritrean Christian congregation in Jeddah five years ago. He had worked as a tailor in Saudi Arabia since 1987. During the past two years, a dozen other members of his congregation have been jailed and deported by Jeddah police authorities, who keep the church leaders under frequent surveillance. (Compass)


Since monsoon flooding began in Bangladesh in mid-June, hundreds have lost their lives, and thousands, their homes. The new concern is water-borne disease. The needs have prompted Compassion International to respond. Spokesperson Mark Yeadon said, "We'll establish a local office, hire staff, do the logistics of office and infrastructure, and then we'll begin to respond in some immediate ways to the needs of the poor within the communities of the churches that we choose to work with." Yeadon said there are many challenges to working in this area. "Bangladesh is a very difficult country. It's predominately Muslim. Less than one percent of its population is Christian. We pray for the right staff and that God would lead us to the right church partnerships." (Mission Network News)


A United States federal judge has ordered the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state's judicial building. Meanwhile, organizers of the "Restore the Commandments Rally" (RTCR) hope to attract thousands of Christians to support Roy Moore this weekend. Last week, Myron Thompson, who ruled last month that a Ten Commandments monument violates the constitutional ban on government promotion of religion, lifted a stay he had previously issued while Moore appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has refused to hear previous cases challenging public display of the Ten Commandments. Thompson gave Moore 15 days to remove the display. "This modern-day Daniel is guilty only of openly practicing his faith in God," said Rick Scarborough, president and co-chairman of Vision America. Vision America's RTCR seeks Christians to kneel this Saturday around the Ten Commandments monument on display in the Montgomery courthouse. "A line in the sand needs to be drawn in Montgomery," said Rev. Patrick Mahoney, of the Christian Defense Coalition. "We're seeing an incredible erosion of civil liberties in the area of religious free speech and expression." (Charisma News Service)


Nearly 200 children aged 7 through 13 benefited from a Turkish camp ministry called Kucak which was held recently in Cappadocia, Turkey. "Again this year we held two separate camps in Cappadocia for children aged 7-13. We were able to serve these children with the help of almost 50 volunteers," reported Ibrahim Deveci, Kucak Director. "One thing that particularly pleased us this year was seeing those who had come as campers for many years, now return as helpers and teachers, serving the children in every way possible. We are now beginning to see the fruit of many years of service to the Lord and to the children," Deveci said. Kucak began in Ankara, Turkey in 1991 out of the need for a children's ministry in Turkey. "Kucak (pronounced Ku-jak) means 'embrace' in Turkish. "Our desire is to embrace children with the knowledge and love of Jesus our Lord and Savior," said Deveci. "It is very difficult for Christian children to grow up in Turkey. Many of their parents have only been followers of Jesus for a few years, so it is difficult for them to know exactly how to guide their children in basic Christian principles. Kucak is trying to help fill in this gap through publications, community involvement, and summer holiday adventures. Today, Kucak is embracing children throughout Turkey and six other countries including Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, England, and the U.S. (Assist News Service)


Global Missions Fellowship (GMF) is starting a new evangelism saturation program in Mazatenango, Guatemala. GMF's Sam Engracia says they just returned from a successful campaign in the region where 30 North Americans joined them along with 27 Guatemalan translators, two El Salvadorian friends and one Cuban. "So, we kind of had this multi-national team all mobilized," Engracia said. He went on to explain that their goal is to plant vibrant churches through local believers so they are looking for neighborhoods where there is no established church. "We work side by side sharing the Gospel of Christ to help start a spiritual momentum in that community." (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio has worked with local partners to put Christian stations on the air in three Guatemalan cities: Guatemala City, Santa Elena and Chichicastenango. Through ALAS, the ministry's Latin American satellite radio network, 16 AM, FM and shortwave outlets nationwide use Christian Spanish programming from the network.

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

   Souhrn některých přeložených zpráv z 12.-15.08.2003 viz 18.8.2003

*Zprávy (pouze v aktuální den) v originální anglické verzi jsou i zde.


Today while Haitians celebrate their National Day with sacrifices to Voodoo demons, Christians will mount a National Day of Prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. The National Day hearkens back to August 14, 1804, when a black slave named Boukman sacrificed a pig and drank its blood to form a pact with the devil. The Haitians agreed to give their land to the devil for 200 years in exchange for freedom from the French (which they obtained). Traditionally on this anniversary date a child is sacrificed by Voodoo ritual. Last week, a baby was stolen from a local hospital, presumably to be sacrificed. President Jean Bertrand Aristide made Voodoo an "official" religion, giving it equal footing with Christianity, and has twice publicly recommitted the country to Voodoo. (Missions Insider)


The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a brutal rebel group that has terrorized northern Uganda for seventeen years, has begun specifically directing its attack against Christians. Their leader, Joseph Kony, (who claims to be guided by messages from angels) has ordered the killing of Christian leaders across the denominations. Barbaric and terrifying attacks against civilians now occur on an almost daily basis as part of a new wave of violence launched by the group. Refugees and local church leaders reported that from the end of last year the Islamic extremist government of Sudan once again began to back the LRA. Ammunition, guns, military equipment and supplies provided by Sudan have enabled the LRA to unleash its latest wave of terror. The LRA is fighting to overthrow the Ugandan government. The group is notorious for its widespread use of child soldiers. It is believed that some 20,000 Ugandan children have been kidnapped and cruelly abused by the group. Children are severely beaten and systematically raped, forced to fight and kill for the LRA and to savagely discipline (even murder) other children. Many are mutilated, having hands, noses, ears and lips amputated. (Barnabus Fund)

* HCJB World Radio, together with the Evangelical Churches of Kampala and FEBA Radio, broadcasts the gospel locally in Uganda on two FM transmitters. HCJB World Radio also worked with Jesus Focus Ministries to put a 500-watt FM station on the air in Masaka. Programs air in English and Luganda.


Dr. Rochunga Pudaite, the founder of Bibles for the World and an Hmar Christian leader, called on both sides of the violent struggle in northeast India between the Hmars and the mainly Hindu Dimasas to end their fight. In an interview from his office in the United States, Dr. Pudaite said troubles started on March 3, when what he called "Naga political revolutionaries" started the violence "by kidnapping three people from a neighboring Dimasa village and demanding ransom." He went on to say, "Apparently one of the kidnappers wore a Hmar cloth. As a result, the Dimasa people accused the Hmars of being involved in the kidnapping." Dr. Pudaite said that several Christian Hmar villages were set on fire. "Twenty-one Christians were burned alive in their homes because there was no time to escape in the night. Unfortunately, some angry Hmar young men took matters in their own hands and retaliated by burning three Dimasa villages, which resulted in the death of 11 Dimasas. The latest news we have is that a total of 669 houses were burned to the ground and 16 villages destroyed," he said. (Assist News Service)


New York City announced it would soon be opening the first public high school devoted to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in the United States. By September, Harvey Milk High School (named after San Francisco's first openly gay city supervisor who was assassinated in 1978) expects to enroll 100 students. A lawsuit has now been filed in the New York Supreme Court to challenge the validity of the new public school. Mathew D. Staver, a Liberty Counsel attorney representing the Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said New York regulations prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. "Thus the School, which discriminates against heterosexuals, violates the Regulation." According to Staver, 84% of the children served by the New York School System are racial minorities, and as many as 95% of the students fail basic competence evaluations. "The city took 3.2 million dollars away from these minority student schools and diverted the money to fund a school that discriminates based on sexual preferences where heterosexuals are not welcome." (Maranatha Christian Journal)


"How do you reach a zero crime rate in one of England's most run-down neighborhoods, and that during a period of ten days? You bring 1,000 young Christians to the area!" That was the summary given by a Manchester police officer of the Soul Survivor outreach to crime-plagued Swinton Valley in Greater Manchester. The Christian youths tidied up three hundred gardens, collected over 200 tons of refuse and renovated a public hall and a park. Eighteen months later the youth crime rate had dropped by almost half, so that even the British Home Secretary Jack Straw traveled to Manchester to present the police with a medal. Soul Survivor is planning a similar outreach in London in August 2004. (Compass)


Ron Pritz with OC International reported recently that many people in Asia are just waiting to hear the gospel. OCI is working side-by-side with national church leaders to help grow the church. Pritz says because Asia is already very 'religious', the gospel message is tolerated. "There's a wide open door to work in those communities. Generally speaking, we find openness to the gospel. We find people turning to Christ and tremendous church explosion in some (Asian) countries today." While short-term workers have increased recently, long term commitments haven't. "To go for the incarnational ministry--where you actually go into a country long enough to learn the language, the culture, to come along side the people, to get into their homes and become friends--it's more difficult to find people willing to invest that kind of time in kingdom work." (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio is bringing words of hope and encouragement to people across Central Asia via radio. Together with partners, Christian broadcasts go out in Tajik, Uzbek, Turkmen, Southern Uzbek, Dari, Hazaragi and Pashto.

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

   Souhrn některých přeložených zpráv z 12.-15.08.2003 viz 18.8.2003

*Zprávy (pouze v aktuální den) v originální anglické verzi jsou i zde.


Six Anglican missionaries who were taken hostage four months ago in the Solomon Islands by warlord Harold Keke have been killed, a senior member of their Anglican order said Monday. "Yesterday our worst fears were confirmed," Richard Carter, chaplain to the Melanesian Brotherhood, said in a message to supporters. The six members of the brotherhood set off from Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, last April to look for another member of the order, Brother Nathaniel Sado (now thought to have also been murdered). Keke is thought to have seized the six men to use as human shields in case the peacekeepers attacked his forces. It is believed they were later killed by one of the warlord's lieutenants. "These were six innocent brothers who went out in faith and love in search of their brother," Carter said. "It seems too much to bear that they should have been murdered in cold blood." The Melanesian Brotherhood is an order of evangelists founded by a Solomon Islander in 1925 that minister mostly in Melanesia and Australia. A full investigation of Keke's crimes, including the murder of 50 people last year, is underway. (Religion News Service)


The imprisoned founder of the unregistered South China Church who was reportedly near death after repeated torture is still alive. Recently beaten into a coma by prison officials, suffering internal injuries, Gong Shengliang is serving a life sentence on bogus rape and assault charges. According to the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEARLC), two relatives, including a sister of Shengliang, recently visited him. "One sister was refused permission to visit because some of her speech during her last visit was religious," a source told WEARLC. "Pastor Gong was separated from his visitors by glass. He was very fragile, pale, weak and thin, with cheekbones protruding. He was unable to speak one single word, but it is not known if this was because he was not permitted to speak or because he was not physically able to speak." (Charisma News Service)


Days after Liberian President Charles Taylor ceded power, humanitarian efforts in the Liberian capital of Monrovia are still being impeded by fuel shortages and security problems, Christian aid organizations said. New attacks by rebel groups have raised fears that insurgents may attempt to take power following Taylor's exile, but Liberia's main rebel group, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, signed a peace accord promising to pull back completely from the capital. "Even as peacekeepers are being deployed, days and weeks of battle between rebel and government forces over control of Monrovia has left tens of thousands of people destitute," said Rev. Franklin Ishida, director of international communication for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Earlier this month, ELCA members contributed $50,000 of the church's international relief fund to support relief efforts in Liberia. Baptist World Aid has also renewed its appeal for aid in Liberia after sending $10,000 for food aid and ministry to people who sought shelter at the Baptist Seminary in Monrovia. The struggle to distribute food and medical supplies to thousands of displaced Monrovians has been complicated by widespread looting and destruction. Several hospitals have been nearly destroyed. Inflation has made food scarce and fuel prohibitively expensive. (Religion News Service)

* HCJB World Radio works in partnership with ELWA, a ministry founded by SIM in Monrovia in 1954, to air the gospel across the country and West Africa. The radio 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. Then in 2000 HCJB World Radio provided a low-power shortwave transmitter, again enabling the station to cover the region. ELWA broadcasts the gospel in 10 languages and plans to add more as resources become available.


The General Secretary of the Albanian Evangelical Alliance, Eugen Begu, recently reported, "We are in the midst of an exciting time of evangelism. The Evangelical Alliance, Luis Palau Ministries and local churches in fifteen towns of Albania are cooperating and are working in unity to reach the people in the area with the gospel. Over a period of ten days, we have one hundred evangelistic events planned for specific social groups such as youths, politicians, business people, Gypsies, prison inmates, disabled, police officers, soldiers etc. Around ninety politicians attended one evangelistic dinner, including a prior head of the Albanian Parliament. Several of them indicated their desire to follow Jesus Christ from now on." (MissionNet)


A small group of Christian inmates in a United States prison helped to bring Promise Keepers' (PK) conference behind bars for the first time. "Redeem the Time" was the theme of the men's ministry's event at the Marion Correctional Institution (MCI) in Ohio. An estimated 10,000 men in 70 prisons across the United States, Canada, England and Ireland tuned in to the free webcast to hear the message of God's forgiveness, PK officials said. The four-hour conference was broadcast live on Sky Angel. "Today, I live for God's glory," said Larry Reed, a Marion inmate who is serving 18 years to life for killing a friend. "It wasn't always this way. I was given hope when someone in prison shared the gospel with me. One man can make a difference; you can make a difference." Reed and a handful of prisoners began praying years ago for a revival inside Marion. More than 1,000 men - half of Marion's population - attended the men's conference, PK officials said. Warden Christine Money said the praying prisoners have changed the prison's spiritual environment. "The impact at MCI can be seen through a very low rate of rule violations, inmate grievances and any other serious incidents," Money said. (Charisma News Service)


Back to the Bible's sister ministry, 'Voice of the Gospel', recently held two weeks of summer camp in Poland. Over 140 young people attended, coming from diverse backgrounds. Many are dealing with drug and alcohol problems, lack of parental guidance, rejection and peer pressure. Counselors talked through these issues with the teens and shared the gospel with the result that many of these young people came to Christ. (Mission Network News)

* DEO Recordings, HCJB World Radio's partner ministry in Poland, operates 24-hour-a-day FM radio stations in five cities of southern Poland, making gospel broadcasts available to more than 5.7 million residents. The ministry is also awaiting approval of a broadcasting license for a sixth city with 200,000 people. A Christian satellite radio network to link the Polish stations and expand the ministry is also being planned.

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


A Pakistani court has upheld the conviction of two Christians accused of committing blasphemy against the Islamic holy book. The two Christians received life sentences--the maximum penalty--for desecration of the Koran under Pakistan's 295-B blasphemy law. They are expected to appeal the Lahore court decision to Pakistan's Supreme Court. Pakistan is known to be hostile toward Christians. (Voice of the Martyrs)


During a music concert organized at Vrdnik, Serbia, (90 kilometers or 60 miles northwest of Belgrade) by the local Church of God Pentecostal, the power line was cut with an axe, and someone threw a hand grenade near the stage. After the concert ended one person drove his car into the park of spectators, threatening organizers and saying that he was armed. The incidents occurred on the evening of August 8 during a concert by a German Pentecostal band from Heidelberg. More than 300 young people attended the event, and no injuries were reported. The police are investigating the incidents, and a Vrdnik city councilor expressed his regrets. The Vrdnik Church of God organized five youth camps this year, with a total of 300 participants from all around Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia. They often host foreign visitors, like the German youth group. (Forum 18 News)


Mission agencies are challenged as they try to disciple church leaders in remote or inaccessible areas of Latin America. CAM International's Aaron Sandoval explains how the Internet opened new doors for their outreach. "CAM International has realized the value of the Internet as a tool for sermon outlines, study guides, articles, things that could be put to use immediately in the church." The ministry is using the Internet to provide these resources to pastors in some areas of Latin America who do not have access to Christian materials. Team members took distribution as a matter of prayer. Sandoval says they found the answer staring them in the face. "Just about every little town in Latin America has an Internet café. So, taking advantage of that infrastructure, we've been able to use it and put some of these materials directly in their hands." (Mission Network News)

* Through Apoyo, a joint ministry of HCJB World Radio and Leadership Resources International, more than 5,000 pastors and church leaders across Latin America participated in pastors' training workshops and conferences last year. Hundreds of churches benefited from teacher training workshops, family conferences and other seminars and Bible studies. Apoyo also launched Training National Trainers, a strategic three-year program that equips national pastors to train emerging national church leaders for the ministry. Although Apoyo's main ministry has been in Latin America, it is expanding into Asia, Africa and beyond.


Pentecostal pastor Bakhtier Tuichiev, from Andijan in eastern Uzbekistan, has decided to ask a democratic country for political asylum as Protestants are enduring intolerable conditions in Andijan. Tuichiev stated that authorities in Andijan refused to register his church and officials told him in private conversations that they would not register the church because they were not interested in the spread of Christianity. Tuichiev claimed that the work of the church in Andijan is impossible without registration. He said he had been repeatedly warned that he would be subject to administrative and even criminal sanctions as a pastor. In February 2002 he first received authorization for his church to operate, then had the authorization taken back. In September his church was visited by a group of people claiming to be BBC and CNN journalists, but who appear to have been National Security Service (ex-KGB) officers, as both the BBC and CNN had no knowledge of these "journalists." (Forum 18 News)

* HCJB World Radio airs weekly Uzbek broadcasts to Uzbekistan via shortwave. An estimated 15 million Uzbek-speaking people are within range of the broadcasts. Uzbek is also one of four languages that HCJB World Radio airs to Afghanistan from an AM station outside the country.


Nobody has seen it yet -- it is still in production -- but already 25,000 people have signed a petition calling on the BBC not to go ahead next year with the screening of a series of animated cartoons called "Popetown." According to the BBC's publicity material, "Popetown is a sitcom about the office politics that exist in any workplace -- with the bizarre twist that the company is the Vatican and the CEO happens to be the pope." The series depicts main character "Father Nicholas" and his "daily struggle against the insane and chaotic bureaucracy of Popetown, where the reporter is a fame-obsessed nun, cardinals are corrupt and mysteriously wealthy, and the pope is a childish 77-year-old whose every fickle whim must be indulged." This description left the organizer of the petition, Kathy Goble, speechless with indignation. "I think the BBC has sunk as low as it can get," she said. She said she would feel just as indignant if they were poking fun at the chief rabbi or a prominent Muslim leader rather than the pope. (Religion News Service)


After more than 46 years at the helm, the founder of Operation Mobilization is stepping down as the organization's president. George Verwer, 65, will pass on the torch at a special meeting in Keswick, England on August 22nd. Peter Maiden will be his replacement. "He's a more quiet, steady person than myself," said Verwer. "He's a great Bible teacher. He's a leader in his local church, but he's a great visionary, he's got a pastor's heart, and he's a leader." OM now has 3,500 workers in 90 nations. Verwer says he will continue his focus on reaching the unreached. "So few of the Lord's people seem to see this (evangelism) as a priority and really get in on the action, whether its praying , giving or going. In a world of 6 billion people, we need more active mobilizers and participants." (Mission Network News)


President Charles Taylor, blamed for 14 years of bloodshed in Liberia, resigned today and surrendered power to his vice president. It remained unclear when -- or if -- Taylor would go into exile in Nigeria as promised, and rebels besieging the capital, Monrovia, threatened more violence if the former warlord does not leave the country immediately. Rebels have rejected Taylor's choice of successor and demanded that a neutral candidate be chosen to preside over a transition government until elections can be held. Pickup trucks full of armed rebels raced toward the front today as insurgents threatened to resume fighting if Taylor stays in the country. While he has accepted an asylum offer in Nigeria, he has hedged on when he will go. As the arrival of West African peacekeeping forces and the first U.S. Marines mark a step toward ending two months of bloody conflict in Liberia's capital of Monrovia, Christian aid organizations are responding to reports of widespread starvation and disease in the city. "We are heartened by the arrival of the first stabilization force and hope this will finally allow the safe flow of humanitarian aid in the country," John McCullough, executive director of Church World Service, said in a statement. The humanitarian agency is made up of 36 Anglican, Protestant and Orthodox denominations. Humanitarian agencies estimate that all of Liberia's 3 million people will need emergency assistance in coming months. The situation in the capital is growing increasingly dire as fighting splits Monrovia into rebel and government sides. "All of Monrovia is generally displaced," Charles Pitchford of the Lutheran World Federation said in a statement. "All civilian members of Liberian society, high and low, need humanitarian assistance." Fighting between Taylor's government and rebel forces has devastated the capital, killing well over 1,000 people and spreading hunger and epidemics among Monrovia's 1.3 million residents and refugees. (AP/Religion News Service)

* HCJB World Radio works in partnership with ELWA, a ministry founded by SIM in Monrovia in 1954, to air the gospel across the country and West Africa. The radio 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. Then in 2000 HCJB World Radio provided a low-power shortwave transmitter, again enabling the station to cover the region. ELWA broadcasts the gospel in 10 languages and plans to add more as resources become available.


The state of Kerala in India has been a safe haven for Christians, but the All India Christian Council (AICC) says that a hate campaign has now begun there. "The RSS, a fundamental Hindu group, has had phenomenal growth in Kerala," said an AICC spokesperson. "Almost every village in the state has a squadron of militant khaki-clad, sword-wielding RSS volunteers who have been indoctrinated to fight against minorities." AICC revealed that the Rev. T. A. Koshy, General Secretary of the Mar Thoma Evangelical Association in Kerala, made some startling remarks in a recent speech in Tiruvalla, Kerala. He said, "The notion that the Church of Kerala is the driving force behind the evangelical activity in India has gained prominence. As a consequence, the idea that the 'Kerala Church must be destroyed' is being secretly propagated. What we see are the organized attempts to destroy the church. It has come to a point that those who wear (priestly) robes are perceived as problematic. The indoctrination now being given even to the children is that Christians, even if they are neighbors, are to be attacked." (Assist News Service)


Following lengthy judicial delays, the United Arab Emirates deported Rev. Fernando P. Alconga back to Manila on July 23, more than nine months after he was arrested in Dubai. "We have a smile on our lips and tears on our cheeks just to be here," Alconga said in a telephone interview from Manila. The Filipino pastor said a representative from the presidential palace and a TV camera crew met him, his wife and son on the tarmac at the Manila airport. A Filipino pastor living in the UAE since 1994, Alconga was arrested at a Dubai shopping center last November and jailed for "preaching other than the Muslim religion" because he gave an Arab Muslim a Bible. In April, a criminal court found him guilty of the charges, but the presiding judge suspended his one-year prison sentence. After a series of appeals, his deportation order was upheld by the Supreme Court on July 12. Alconga said he believed that his arrest and trial helped unify the Christian community, both in the UAE and internationally. "Since I've arrived home, I've seen that Filipinos are more aware of the difficulties of Christians in the Middle East," he said. (Compass Direct)


Ethiopia is emerging as the scene of the world's greatest humanitarian crisis. The United Nations says not since 1984 has the food security issue in this area been so severe. Famine response is also falling short, but aid officials say food alone isn't enough to prevent thousands from dying. Living Water International's Lew Hough says this is where their work breaches traditional response methods. "Ethiopia is a good example of an area that is on the edge of a really desperate situation. We're trying to work with other aid agencies and other development groups to go in and begin to provide a large scale source of clean water for some of these areas." Hough says through their training, they teach the local believers the value of 'hands-on' faith. (Mission Network News)


Calvary Chapel Radio, featuring Bible teaching and worship music for 24 hours a day, began broadcasting in the UK by satellite at midnight July 14th on Sky Digital 906. This new channel can already be picked up in nine million British homes. Pastor Chuck Smith, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California, in the U.S., said in an interview that he is praying that this new satellite station will bring a "spiritual revival" back to the British Isles. "We are really excited by the fact that we now have '24/7' teaching of the word of God and worship music radio station up and running in the UK," said Chuck Smith. "It s the first all teaching and all worship music station in the UK. I'm just watching and waiting to see how the Lord is going to use it." (Assist News Service)


Afghanistan is very much on the hearts of a group seeking to help Afghans create a new future for their country. For two weeks in August and September, a team of medical volunteers from Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States, plans to teach in hospitals in Kabul and Herat. They intend to hold a clinic in a village without medical and dental care, reported Cindy Taylor, a neonatal ICU nurse at Memphis' Methodist University Hospital and a team member. The project is part of an ongoing partnership between medical, education, business, government and church leaders in Memphis and Afghanistan. The partnership was forged in October 2002, when seven officials of Afghanistan's interim government participated in meetings that focused on the country's post-war development needs. The "Memphis-Afghan Friendship Summit" (MAFS) resulted in a list of specific ways the Americans plan to help the people of Afghanistan start rebuilding their lives. "One of the greatest needs is for people who are willing to offer their expertise, skills and resources to come and invest in the lives of Afghans," said Mark Morris, chairman of International Friendship Summits, the nonprofit organization in Memphis that organized the meeting. (Baptist Press)

* HCJB World Radio is bringing words of hope and encouragement to people across Afghanistan via radio. Together with partners, Christian broadcasts go out via AM in four of the country's major languages, Dari, Hazaragi, Turkmen and Uzbek.


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