Zprávy HCJB 16.6.2004

   Fetišistické otrokyně jsou ženy, které jsou prodávány do otroctví, aby odčinily hříchy někoho jiného, říká Lorella Rouster z Every Child Ministries (ECM). Tato organizace se snaží osvobozovat takové ženy v západoafrické zemi Ghaně. Jejich poradkyně, známá jako „biblická žena“, přišla na to, že malé objetí dokáže zázraky. „Říkáme jim tím, ‚V Božích očích máme cenu.‘ To nám vážně otevřelo dveře – taková maličkost jako je objetí,“ říká Rouster. ECM spolupracuje s národními aktivitami na zrušení otroctví na všech možných místech a pomáhá těm ženám, které jsou propuštěny, aby mohly začít znovu žít. „Naší nadějí pro tyto ženy je, aby poznaly Pána a dovolily mu, aby uzdravil jejich rány a bolesti, které prožily.“ (Mission Network News)
   JUSTICE AGAIN ELUDES FAMILIES OF 21 CHRISTIANS KILLED IN EGYPT The families of 21 Christians who were killed in violence which broke out in the village of El Kosheh, Egypt, in January 2000 were once again denied justice at the final verdict of the Egyptian Appeal Court. On Monday, June 14, the Court of Cassation upheld the conviction of the man accused of killing the one Muslim victim, but reduced his sentence to 13 years from 15 years in prison. Three others received one- and two-year sentences for setting alight a truck, but the remaining 92 originally charged with atrocities in connection with the violence had their acquittals upheld. No one has been convicted in any of the murders. The upholding of the acquittals came as a deep disappointment to members of Egypt's Christian minority that had hoped to see justice done at the retrial. Coptic Bishop Wissa of the Baliana diocese expressed the dismay of local believers. "Twenty-one Christians are dead," he said. "After the latest verdict, we are left with no choice but to appeal to God." Youssef Sidhom, editor-in-chief of the Egyptian Watani newspaper, said, "This verdict comes as no surprise as the evidence presented to the court was not solid. There should be a full investigation into the actions of the police as their performance from the start has been highly questionable." (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) SOUTHERN BAPTISTS VOTE TO SEVER TIES WITH BAPTIST WORLD ALLIANCE Messengers to the annual meeting of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) voted June 15 to sever their longstanding ties with the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) -- the global organization of Baptists that they helped start in London, England, in 1905. The recommendation passed overwhelmingly. "We are asking God to perform a miracle. I still have high hopes that an agreement can be reached so that the SBC will continue as an active member of the BWA," said BWA President Billy Kim. BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz called the SBC's decision to withdraw a "sad day in the history of our organization." The BWA rejects the SBC's allegations that it holds aberrant theological views, is anti-American and anti-capitalist and did not follow proper procedures when it admitted the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship into its membership. "We invite Southern Baptist individuals, churches and associations to be a part of the BWA," Lotz added. "We look forward to that day when they will return to the historic world fellowship called the Baptist World Alliance." (Baptist World Alliance) CALIFORNIA INMATES FIND THEIR PURPOSE IN GOD Inmates in a California medium-security prison are finding their purpose in God, and an early release through a program from pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Community Church. About 200 prisoners at Sierra Conservation Center in Jamestown, which has 6,400 inmates, recently completed the "40 Days of Purpose" as outlined by Warren in his book, The Purpose-Driven Life. The inmates formed the first "purpose-driven" church in prison. This year they added a Christian substance-abuse treatment program based on another curriculum from Saddleback called "Celebrate Recovery." Warren's programs get high marks from the California Department of Corrections (CDC). Prisoners who finish the drug program can qualify for an early furlough to a halfway house. CDC spokeswoman Terry Thornton said furloughs have been available through secular programs, but the Saddleback program -- which infuses Christian teachings -- is the first religious program accredited in this way. Next month the Celebrate Recovery program will get its own building in the prison. Although the program has elicited no protest, some civil libertarians say it amounts to government sponsorship of a religion. W arren said he has received inquiries from wardens nationwide, and he expects more prisons to adopt 40 Days or Celebrate Recovery programs. (Religion Today/Charisma News Service) MINISTRIES IN SUDAN OPTIMISTIC ABOUT POTENTIAL FOR LASTING PEACE Christian ministries serving in Sudan are optimistic about open doors for evangelism as a final peace agreement is due to be signed in August in Nairobi, Kenya, ending nearly two decades of civil war. Talks on the final outstanding issue -- a permanent cease-fire -- are due to start on June 22. However, fighting continues in Darfur where Christians are being killed on a daily basis. Lee DeYoung from Words of Hope said if lasting peace is achieved, it could open many ministry opportunities. "It would enable ministry to take place in Sudan more easily without having the fear of destruction and violence always hurting that." Broadcasts from Words of Hope are especially encouraging to the growing nomadic church population as people flee the violence. "You have a rapidly growing church whose leaders are few in number and, in many cases, dispersed away from their congregations. I think it would be a great thing that some of the trained Sudanese pastors would be able -- in greater numbers -- to go where the people really are." (Mission Network News/HCJB World Radio) HUGS HELP OPEN THE HEARTS OF HURTING WOMEN IN GHANA Fetish slaves are women sold into bondage to atone for someone else's sin, says Lorella Rouster of Every Child Ministries (ECM). The ministry is dedicated to freeing such women in the West African country of Ghana. Their counselor, known as "Bible woman," discovered a little hug goes a long way. "That was saying to them, 'We have worth in God's sight.' It really has been a great door opener -- just a little thing like a hug," Rouster says. ECM works in partnership with national efforts to end slavery in as many places as possible, and helps those freed to rebuild their lives. "Our hope for the women is that they come to know the Lord, and that they allow Him to heal the hurts and the wounds that have been inflicted on them." (Mission Network News)

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