Zprávy HCJB 25.2.2004

   (Religion Today/Compass) - Policie uvěznila 51 protestantských křesťanů, kteří se 15. února společně tajně modlili v hlavním městě Eritrey Asmaře. Pastor Mengse Tweldemedhane z Hallelujah Church byl uvězněn společně se svými farníky ze čtvrti Edaga Hamuse v neděli o půl čtvrté odpoledne. 34 mužů a 17 žen bylo zadržováno v kasárnách Adi-Abyto až do středy 18. února, kdy byl Tweldemedhane od ostatních oddělen a uvězněn v podzemní cele, ostatní kromě čtyř byli převezeni do kasáren v Sawa, kde jsou dále vězněni. Tím se celkový počet protestantů uvězněných v Eritreji za „ilegální“ bohoslužby, poskytování Bible nebo svědectví zvýšil na 347. Někteří z nich včetně mnoha vojáků jsou ve vězení už skoro dva roky.

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

   V sobotu 21. února zaútočila skupina teroristů nazývaná Armáda božího odporu (LRA) na uprchlický tábor ve městě Lira na severozápadě Ugandy a za použití těžkých zbraní zabila 213 civilistů a podpálila 500 chatrčí. Mezi oběťmi jsou i upálení. Lidé, kteří zůstali bez přístřeší, jsou většinou křesťané, o které se starají místní sbory. Členové LRA, kteří byli většinou jako děti uneseni,říkají, že páchají tyto hrůzy „ve jménu Páně“. Vůdce LRA Josef Kony, duchovní médium, prohlašuje, že je řízen a zmocněn Duchem svatým. (Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin)

On Saturday Feb. 21, the terrorist militia called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) used heavy weapons to attack a refugee camp in the northern Uganda town of Lira, torching 500 huts and killing 213 civilians. There are also multitudes of burn victims. The displaced people are mostly Christians who are being cared for primarily by local churches. LRA members, many of whom were abducted as children, say they commit such atrocities "in the name of our Lord." LRA leader Joseph Kony, a spirit medium, claims to be directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. (Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin)

* 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.


Police arrested 51 more Protestant Christians who were worshiping in secret in the Eritrean capital of Asmara Sunday, Feb. 15. Pastor Mengse Tweldemedhane of the Hallelujah Church was arrested along with his congregation in Asmara's Edaga Hamuse district at 3:30 p.m. Sunday. The 34 men and 17 women were held at the Adi-Abyto military camp until Wednesday, Feb. 18, when Tweldemedhane was separated from the group and locked into an underground cell. The same day all but four were transferred to the Sawa Military Training Camp where they remain incarcerated. This brings to 347 the total number of Protestants known to be jailed in at least nine locations across Eritrea for attending "illegal" worship services, possessing Bibles or witnessing. Some of them, including a number of soldiers, have been in prison for nearly two years. (Religion Today/Compass)


Rochunga Pudaite, who belongs to the former headhunting Hmar tribe of northern India, is hoping to reignite the "Welsh Revival" that took place 100 years ago. Pudaite, founder of Bibles for the World, plans to send 100,000 Living New Testaments to the people of Wales as a "thank you gift," he says. "It was a Welshman, Watkin Roberts, who was brave enough to come to our headhunting village following the Welsh Revival of 1904, and because of that I also found Christ." Now the transformed tribe wants to minister back to the Welsh people. Today less than 3 percent of the residents in Wales attend church. "In view of this, I felt we had to do something about it, so we are printing these New Testaments with a red Welsh insignia on the cover. We're excited about that! It's our prayer that this will reignite the flames of revival in Wales and then spread to England and Scotland and then maybe across the world." Pudaite said the outreach to Wales is the first step in the ministry's new "Billion Bible Campaign" that will be officially announced at the ministry's office in Colorado Springs, Colo., Sunday, March 7. (Assist News Service)

* "The Voice of the Great Southland," the shortwave station operated by HCJB World Radio-Australia, airs more than 44 hours of weekly English programming across India. Two half-hour programs in Urdu, airing Monday through Saturday, went on the air in July 2003, and a daily 15-minute program in Hindi began in January. A studio with programming and a follow-up center has been established in New Delhi. In partnership with FEBA Radio, HCJB World Radio also airs weekly Christian programs to eastern India via shortwave in three languages: Bhojpuri, Chattisgarhi and Mundari.


Talks to end the longest current civil war in the world resumed Feb. 17 between the government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Army in the south. Both sides say they are determined to find a permanent resolution. This round of talks, which many hope will result in a final peace agreement, is scheduled to end on March 16. The focus of negotiations is on the status of three disputed areas, Abyei, the Nuba Mountains and the Southern Blue Nile, with an emphasis on political and administrative power sharing. An agreement already has been signed regarding the sharing of oil revenues and a transition of power in southern Sudan, leading to the right to self-determination for region by 2008. There are continuing concerns, however, that the government will stall the talks to prevent a final agreement that could erode their control of the oil-rich resources of southern Sudan as well as the desire of many to create a strictly Islamic nation. The 20-year civil war between the predominantly Muslim north and the Christian and animistic south has killed more than 1.5 million people and displaced 4 million others. Government forces have regularly attacked civilian targets, including schools, hospitals, churches and even relief organizations that provide aid to war victims in southern regions. (Voice of the Martyrs)


Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), a ministry that serves the persecuted church worldwide, has launched an interactive website (PrisonerAlert.com) to increase awareness of believers who are imprisoned for their faith. Each month the website will feature a Christian imprisoned for his or her beliefs. This month it's Chinese journalist Li Yung who is serving a 15-year prison sentence for her role in the publication of an underground church magazine in China. She was arrested in April 2001 along with 16 others from the South China Church and condemned to death in December 2001. VOM spokesman Todd Nettleton says the website has many easy-to-use features. "You can e-mail your friend, let them know about a Christian who is suffering in prison for his faith in Jesus Christ, and invite them to join you in prayer," he says. "You can also write a letter on their behalf to a government official or, in some cases, you can even write letters to the prisoners themselves." Those letters will then be translated and forwarded to the prisoners. "We absolutely know . . . that these letters do make a difference for our brothers and sisters in prison," Nettleton says. This year an estimated 160,000 believers worldwide will die at the hands of their oppressors. (Religion Today/Agape Press/Voice of the Martyrs)


A new partnership involving four organizations is expected to help speed up Bible translation for the remaining languages that don't yet have God's Word. Campus Crusade for Christ International, Wycliffe International, International Mission Board and Youth with a Mission have formed what they're calling the "Epic Partnership." "Of the 2,737 languages that are left, we recognized a large portion of these people are illiterate," says Wycliffe Bible Translators President Bob Creson. "They come from oral societies. And it's a great way of introducing the Scriptures into a society and give them a chance to hear the gospel and then transition them into a literacy program." All four ministries in the partnership have a strong desire to move ahead with Bible translation, Creson says. "One of the commitments we all have is to get the gospel to people as rapidly as we can." The new partnership is just one step in a process that is full of obstacles. "Many of the remaining Bible translation needs are in areas of the world that are in countries that are very challenging in terms of access," says Creson. "We're going to have to work in very creative ways to know what the needs are -- much less to get people to those needs." The partnership will ultimately help Wycliffe in its Vision 2025 program to have a translation program in progress for every language in the world by the year 2025. (Mission Network News)

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