Zprávy HCJB 19.2.2004

   (Voice of the Martyrs) - Pákistánský 33letý křesťanský obchodník Irfan Khokar byl unesen ze svého pracoviště a zřejmě zastřelen, když se pokoušel uniknout svým únoscům. K incidentu došlo v Taxile v neděli 8. února. Všepákistánské sdružení menšin oznamuje, že Khokar spolu se svým otcem vlastnili knihkupectví. Jeho otec B.M.Khokar toto neštěstí přisuzuje náboženské nesnášenlivosti a zaujatosti okolí vyvolané úspěchem v obchodu. Křesťanští obchodníci se terčem útoků islámských fundamentalistů stávají často. V jiné části Pákistánu čelí rodina zavražděného pastora Muchtara Masiha vyhrůžkám a pronásledování necelý měsíc po jeho smrti. Nikdo za tuto vraždu, ke které došlo na nádraží Khanewalu 7. ledna nebyl zadržen. Brzo se ukázalo, že policie se pokouší incident ututlat když tvrdila, že šlo o „srdeční příhodu,“ přestože ohledání těla prokázalo dvě střelné rány do hrudi. Rodina nedávno dostala dopis, ve kterém stojí, že vrazi jsou profesionálové, kteří čekají na příležitost zabít i rodinu zavražděného. „Potřebujeme modlitby a solidaritu našich bratrů a sester v Kristu,“ řekla vdova po zavražděném Parveen Bibi. Zprávy ukazují, že před Masihovým zastřelením hrozili islámští militanti jeho sboru.

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

   Tropická bouře Elita zabila na Madagaskaru 29 lidí a tisíce jich zůstalo bez střechy nad hlavou. I přes ničící cyklón bude pokračovat služba Teen Mission, řekl mluvčí Scott Peterson. „Naštěstí naše základna nebyla příliš poničena. Žádní lidé nebyli zranění, ale bylo vyvráceno množství stromů, popadaly větve a došlo k zatopení vodou.“ Peterson řekl, že Teen Mission bude pomáhat obětem bouře všemi možnými způsoby, včetně duchovní podpory při setkáváních. „Kdykoli máme příležitost se podělit o Kristovu lásku a pomoci i na praktické úrovni, může to otevřít dveře,“ řekl. Poprvé bouře uhodila na Madagaskar 28. ledna a způsobila vážné škody v západních a jihovýchodních oblastech země. Cyklón se vrátil 2. února a znovu ničil. Vážné problémy způsobilo prudké krupobití, které v některých částech provincie poničilo úrodu. V oblasti Mahajanga bylo záplavami zničeno na 80% rýžových polí. Madagaskar požádal o mezinárodní pomoc. (Mission Network News)

Two weeks of bloody rioting have spread throughout the Caribbean nation of Haiti, leaving ruin and death in its wake. In the turmoil, groups of American missionaries have received evacuation orders. Many of them left this week. Other groups hunkered down to ride out the unrest. Among them, staff members with a ministry called For Haiti With Love. Spokesman Don DeHart says it's a matter of living the gospel he preaches. "The Haitians have a feeling that missionaries always run during a time of trouble. I've been very fortunate to always be there when trouble hits, and I've stayed. They know that." DeHart, who was outside of the country when the fighting starting, is returning to Haiti this week along with medical supplies to stock the ministry's clinic to treat riot-related injuries. As for insecurities, "You either trust God to do what He says He'll do and protect you and care for you, or you don't. I need to be there desperately," he said. "This time I got caught on the outside, but I am going in to take care of the people and make sure the food program continues and our clinic stays open 24 hours a day to take care of the casualties." DeHart plans to stay in Haiti until the supplies run out. Future supply runs hinge on whether the airports will be open.

In recent developments, Haiti's government rebuffed proposals that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide step down to end the uprising while rebels have threatened Cap-Hatien, the country's second-largest city, reported the Associated Press. Aristide's militant defenders, meanwhile, vowed to take a stand against the rebellion that has killed more than 60 people and attracted leaders with murderous backgrounds. "We have machetes and guns, and we will resist," said carpenter Pierre Frandley. "The police might have been scared, but the people got together and organized. We blocked the streets." Police took refuge in their stations, making clear they were afraid to patrol the streets of Cap-Hatien amid fears that rebels already have infiltrated the northern port, and more were headed that way. Rebels have chased police from more than a dozen towns and cut supply lines to northern Haiti from Port-au-Prince, the capital to the south, and from neighboring Dominican Republic. U.S. officials worry that the situation would only worsen if Aristide were forced to flee. One option being internally discussed is a transfer of power, with Aristide's consent, to a temporary governing board made up of Haitians who would run the country until a new president was elected. Aristide rebuffed Bush administration suggestions that he convene early presidential elections as a way to defuse the crisis. (Mission Network News/Associated Press)

* HCJB World Radio worked with local partners in Haiti to help establish local Christian radio ministries in Port-au-Prince and Tortue Island. Staff members from the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart, Ind., are also working with OMS International to establish a satellite radio network in Cap-Hatien that will deliver programs to FM stations across the country. Downlinks were installed in two cities in 2003, and at least six more are planned. So far the fighting has not interrupted the broadcasts.


Pakistani Christian businessman Irfan Khokar, 33, was kidnapped from his workplace and apparently shot and killed when he attempted to escape his captors. The incident occurred in Taxila the evening of Sunday, Feb 8. The All Pakistan Minorities Alliance reported that Khokar, along with his father, owned a successful bookstore. His father, B.M. Khokar, attributes the killing to religious intolerance and bias against them because their business was so successful. Christian businesses frequently face attacks from militant Muslims. Elsewhere in Pakistan, the family of slain pastor Mukhtar Masih continues to face threats and harassment in the month since his death. No one has been arrested for the murder that occurred at a train station in Khanewal Jan. 7. It became apparent shortly after the murder that police were attempting to cover up the incident, calling it a "cardiac arrest" in spite of the postmortem report that Masih had been shot twice in the chest. Family members recently received a letter stating that his killers were professionals who were seeking opportunities to kill his family as well. "We need prayers and solidarity from our brothers and sisters in Christ," said his widow, Parveen Bibi. Reports indicate that before Masih was killed, Islamic militants had threatened to close down his church. (Voice of the Martyrs)


Tropical storm Elita has killed 29 people and left thousands homeless in Madagascar. Despite the devastating cyclone, the ministry of Teen Mission will continue, said ministry spokesman Scott Peterson. "Fortunately, for our base, there was minimal damage. There were no injuries to people, but we did have a lot of trees uprooted, branches falling and flooding." Peterson said Teen Mission will assist storm victims in any way possible, including meeting spiritual needs. "Anytime we have the opportunity to share the love of Christ and meet needs on a practical level, it can open doors," he said. The storm first hit Madagascar on Jan. 28, causing severe damage in the western and southeastern parts of the country. The cyclone returned on Feb. 2, causing further damage. The impact of the torrential downpour on crop production in certain parts of the province was causing concern. In one area of Mahajanga, almost 80 percent of rice fields were damaged by floods. Madagascar has appealed for international assistance. (Mission Network News)

* HCJB World Radio has helped establish three Christian FM radio stations in Madagascar together with local partners. The most recent station went on the air in Ihosy in October 2003, broadcasting to the under-reached Bara tribe with additional programming in Malagasy, French and English. Partner stations also have been planted in the cities of Diego Suarez and Antananarivo.


Professor Henk Jochemsen, director of the Dutch Institute for Ethics in Medicine, reported that doctors in the Netherlands euthanize approximately 1,000 patients each year without prior consent. Jochemsen presented these figures at a recent conference organized by the Christian Democrats for Life and the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation in Berlin. The Netherlands was the first European country to legalize "physician-assisted suicide" in April 2002. The law requires that the patient suffers from an incurable illness, freely demands the termination of his or her life, that a second medical opinion is heard, and the death is reported to the authorities. However, Jochemsen says doctors often dodge these requirements. An anonymous survey showed that in approximately 25 percent of the 3,600 annual cases no second medical opinion was sought, and that only 45 percent of all cases were registered. One in three patients asked for their lives to be terminated because they regarded themselves as an "unbearable burden" to their next of kin. Hubert Hueppe, a member of the German Federal Parliament in Berlin, is concerned that the acceptance of "death on demand" is growing. Just four years ago the European Council had rejected death on demand. "Today we have a European committee asking, 'Why not?'" said Hueppe. (Assist News Service)


Pastors across the globe now have the opportunity to learn from Christian leaders in the privacy of their own homes. The Global Pastors Network (GPN) recently unveiled a new online university that brings Evangelical Christian leaders and pastors together, offering 116 core courses and 24 electives through the Internet. The network features representatives from many denominations. GPN President James Davis says the current number of seminaries and Bible schools will be unable to support the need for pastors in the future. "The Church that started out small 2,000 years ago is now more than 1 billion people -- and 10 years from now it will be 2 billion people," Davis says. "Therefore the training must exponentially multiply. Somehow we have got to be able to train leaders while they're in ministry." The online educational resource, Davis says, will help fill a void in pastoral training. "We need to get real serious about crossing the chasm of the contemporary world and getting the training where it's so needed -- in the hands of men and women while they are ministering," he says. "And the Internet and the wireless world will provide the avenues to make that happen." The online university is available for a small monthly charge, although scholarships are available. GPN was co-founded by the late Dr. Bill Bright. (Religion Today/Agape Press)


A movement of targeted intercession has been working its way across the U.S. as part of an attempt to turn the nation back toward God and prepare for revival. Dubbed the 50-State Prayer Tour, the move has been led by pastor Dutch Sheets of Springs Harvest Fellowship in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Chuck Pierce, president of Glory of Zion International Ministries in Denton, Texas, and head of the U.S. Strategic Prayer Network. Equipped with historical information about each state, Pierce and Sheets said they were each impressed to visit the 50 states to mobilize intercessors and "shift" each region into God's purposes. Sheets said the nation was in a pivotal season. "This year, more than any other in recent history, will determine the future of America and the world," Sheets wrote. "We will see either great breakthroughs or great setbacks." The first meetings were held in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arizona. Since those first meetings, the tour has attracted hundreds of intercessors in each state. Through the course of the tour, which had hit 31 states by December and is scheduled to end in April, leaders say they have seen dramatic answers to prayer. (Religion Today/Charisma News Service)

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