Zprávy HCJB 14.6.2004

   V Afghánistánu, kde jsou obviňovány „teroristické živly“ z masakru 11 čínských stavebních dělníků, ke kterému došlo minulý týden, zůstávají v zemi podle slov Dava Larsona z Hope International jejich pracovníci, aby pomohli jak fyzicky tak duchovně všem potřebným Iráčanům. „Svědectvím je tu naše pomoc konkrétními a jasnými činy, vyjadřujeme tak svou lásku lidem, kteří ve většině případů dosud neznají a nenásledují Krista.“ Larson říká, že násilí se rodí z beznaděje. „Proto je důležité, aby křesťané zůstali. Vzdát se, stáhnout se a nic neudělat by jen udržovalo tuto situaci. Musíme jasně označit zdroj problému. A alespoň do určité míry je zdrojem problému chudoba – včetně té duchovní.“ (Mission Network News)
   G-8 SUMMIT WRAPS UP WITH HOPES OF BUILDING PEACE IN MIDDLE EAST Instability in the Middle East dominated the agenda of the G-8 summit in Georgia last week. Many promises and reforms appear to have support. However, Glen Hartson, spokesman for an Arabic television ministry called SAT-7, says the actual practice of peace may be more difficult. "There's still a lot of skepticism, and I think that is partially because this has been such a closed area for centuries. To have a power come in now and try to change what has been in place -- there's just a real hesitation and question." Hartson says even as the violence mounts, the ministry is committed to sending out a message of hope through Christ. However, people within the region are "very hesitant about expressing their faith," he adds. "Individuals who hear the gospel through SAT-7's unique broadcasting are somewhat reluctant as well to ask questions or indicate that they're watching because of the unrest that's going on." (Mission Network News) IRANIAN PASTOR'S WIFE, TEENAGE CHILDREN RELEASED FROM PRISON The wife and children of an Iranian pastor were released from jail a week after their arrest in northern Iran, although he and three other local church leaders remain imprisoned at an unknown location. Pastor Khosroo Yusefi's wife, Nasrin, along with their 18-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter were allowed to return home to Chalous, a town near the Caspian Sea in Mazanderan province the evening of Sunday, May 30. Two other church leaders arrested a month earlier on unspecified charges were also released, sources in Iran confirmed. But the same day, Iranian police arrested another Protestant church leader in Nowshahr (20 miles from Chalous). He is believed to be jailed together with Yusefi and two other Christians who were arrested last month. (Compass) * HCJB World Radio, in cooperation with FEBA Radio, broadcasts weekly Christian programs to Iran via shortwave in the Luri language. There are less than 100 known believers among the 4 million Luri speakers in Iran and Iraq. NIGERIAN GOVERNOR DEPOSES CHRISTIAN CHIEF TO END 'RELIGIOUS CRISIS' Boni Haruna, governor of Nigeria's Adamawa state, took decisive action to address a "religious crisis" Tuesday, June 8, at Numan that claimed seven lives and resulted in the destruction of 20 houses and three mosques. Sir Freddy Soditi Bongo, traditional ruler of the Christian Bachama kingdom, was deposed from office by Haruna on Friday, June 11. The governor also ordered the local government council to relocate the controversial mosque that stands close to the palace of the traditional chief. Haruna reasoned that since the close proximity of the mosque to the palace has led to bloodshed and would continue to be a sad memory, it was proper for the government to announce the relocation of the structure. In compensation to the Hausa Muslim community, the governor directed the local government in Numan to provide alternative land within 30 days for construction of a new mosque. In his verdict, he blamed the chief for complicity in the crisis. He noted that "mutual suspicion and distrust had become endemic among the religious and ethnic communities of Numan." (Assist News Service) HINDU 'DEFENSE ARMY' TO FIGHT CHRISTIAN CONVERSIONS IN INDIA Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a Hindu extremist organization in India, has announced plans to establish a number of "Defense Army" groups in Chattisgarh, a region in east-central India. In a two-day training session held for recruits in mid-May, Dilip Singh Judeo, former Minister of Forestry and Agriculture, encouraged the recruits to "move into the interior parts of the country to check religious conversions." Christian leaders are concerned about the development. "We have enough evidence that they are targeting Christians," said John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council. Up to 20,000 Christian members of tribal groups have been forcibly "reconverted" in a campaign initiated by Judeo in the past five years. "Local RSS leaders, including Judeo, have gone on record saying their main target is Christian missionaries," he said. (Compass) * "The Voice of the Great Southland," the shortwave station operated by HCJB World Radio-Australia since January 2003, airs more than 59 hours of weekly Christian programming across South Asia. Programs go out in nine languages: English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Nepali, Tamil, Chattisgarhi, Hmar and Meeitei. Most of the programming in the Indian languages is produced at HCJB World Radio's studio in New Delhi. Additional releases from Australia, primarily in English, reach the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and East Asia. MASSACRE IN AFGHANISTAN ONLY BUILDS RELIEF WORKERS' RESOLVE In Afghanistan where "terrorist elements" are being blamed for the massacre of 11 Chinese reconstruction workers last week, Hope International's Dave Larson says members of the ministry remain in the country, bringing both physical and spiritual care needy Iraqis. "We're being a witness through tangible, concrete acts of love to people who, for the most part, don't yet know or follow Christ." Violence, says Larson, is borne out of hopelessness. "That's why it's important for Christians to stay. To give up, pull out and not do anything perpetuates that cycle. We need to be addressing the root causes. And, to a certain extent at least, the root causes are poverty -- including spiritual poverty." (Mission Network News) NEW MAGAZINE TO FOCUS ON MISSION-RELATED ISSUES Mission-minded Christians will soon have a new resource in Mission Maker magazine, an annual publication that debuts this September. With information covering everything from evangelism to child prostitution, Publisher Roger Peterson of STEMPress hopes the magazine will become a widely read resource for modern missions. The inaugural issue, distributed by Send the Light/Authentic Publishing, will be delivered to 135,000 people, including missionary candidates, mission trainers, college and university candidates, and church and agency leaders. The purpose of the magazine is to "equip the global mission community for Great Commission teamwork." Peterson says it will provide "engaging, useful editorials focused on strategic partnerships, mission initiatives and other critical global issues" and help readers "easily locate mission-related resources and services." (Assist News Service)

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